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1“Has not man a hard service upon earth,

and are not his days like the days of a hireling?

2Like a slave who longs for the shadow,

and like a hireling who looks for his wages,

3so I am allotted months of emptiness,

and nights of misery are apportioned to me.

4When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’

But the night is long,

and I am full of tossing till the dawn.

5My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;

my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.

6My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,

and come to their end without hope.

7“Remember that my life is a breath;

my eye will never again see good.

8The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;

while thy eyes are upon me, I shall be gone.

9As the cloud fades and vanishes,

so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up;

10he returns no more to his house,

nor does his place know him any more.

11“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

12Am I the sea, or a sea monster,

that thou settest a guard over me?

13When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,

my couch will ease my complaint,’

14then thou dost scare me with dreams

and terrify me with visions,

15so that I would choose strangling

and death rather than my bones.

16I loathe my life; I would not live for ever.

Let me alone, for my days are a breath.

17What is man, that thou dost make so much of him,

and that thou dost set thy mind upon him,

18dost visit him every morning,

and test him every moment?

19How long wilt thou not look away from me,

nor let me alone till I swallow my spittle?

20If I sin, what do I do to thee, thou watcher of men?

Why hast thou made me thy mark?

Why have I become a burden to thee?

21Why dost thou not pardon my transgression

and take away my iniquity?

For now I shall lie in the earth;

thou wilt seek me, but I shall not be.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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