1 z Jb 14, 14 . Is not man's life on earth a drudgery?* Are not his days those of a hireling? 2He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. 3So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been told off for me. 4If in bed I say, “When shall I arise?” then the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn. 5My flesh is clothed with worms and scabs; a Jb 2, 7f . my skin cracks and festers; 6My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope. 7Remember that my life is like the wind; b Pss 8, 5; 144, 3 . I shall not see happiness again. 8The eye that now sees me shall no more behold me; as you look at me, I shall be gone. 9As a cloud dissolves and vanishes, c 9f: Jb 10. 21; 14, 10ff; 2 Sm 12, 23; 14, 14; WIs 2, 1 . so he who goes down to the nether world shall come up no more. 10He shall not again return to his house; his place shall know him no more. 11My own utterance I will not restrain; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. 12 *Am I the sea, or a monster of the deep, that you place a watch over me?* Why have you set me up as an object of attack? or why should I be a target for you? 13When I say, “My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint,” 14Then you affright me with dreams and with visions terrify me, 15So that I should prefer choking and death rather than my pains. 16I waste away: I cannot live forever; d Jb 14, 1ff , 5. let me alone, for my days are but a breath. 17What is man, that you make much of him, or pay him any heed? 18You observe him with each new day e Ps 17, 3 . and try him at every moment! 19How long will it be before you look away from me, and let me alone long enough to swallow my spittle? 20Though I have sinned, what can I do to you, O watcher of men? 21Why do you not pardon my offense, or take away my guilt? For soon I shall lie down in the dust; and should you seek me I shall then be gone.