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7 “Is there not a compulsory labor+ for mortal man on earth, And are not his days like the days of a hired laborer?+ 2 Like a slave he pants for the shadow,+ And like a hired laborer he waits for his wages.+ 3 Thus I have been made to possess worthless lunar months,+ And nights of trouble+ they have counted out to me. 4 When I have lain down I have also said, ‘When shall I get up?’+ And [when] evening actually goes its measure, I have also been glutted with restlessness until morning twilight. 5 My flesh has become clothed with maggots+ and lumps of dust;+ My skin itself has formed crusts and dissolves.+ 6 My days themselves have become swifter+ than a weaver’s shuttle, And they come to an end in hopelessness.+ 7 Remember that my life is wind;+ That my eye will not see good again. 8 The eye of him that sees me will not behold me; Your eyes will be upon me, but I shall not be.+ 9 The cloud certainly comes to its end and goes away; So he that is going down to Sheʹol will not come up.+ 10 He will not return anymore to his house, And his place will not acknowledge him anymore.+ 11 I, also, I shall not hold back my mouth. I will speak in the distress of my spirit;* I will be concerned with the bitterness of my soul!+ 12 Am I a sea or a sea monster, That you should set a guard+ over me? 13 When I said, ‘My divan will comfort me, My bed will help carry my concern,’ 14 You even have terrified me with dreams, And by visions you make me start up in fright, 15 So that my soul chooses suffocation, Death+ rather than my bones. 16 I have rejected [it];+ to time indefinite I would not live. Cease from me, for my days are an exhalation.+ 17 What is mortal man+ that you should rear him,* And that you should set your heart upon him, 18 And that you should pay attention to him every morning, That every moment you should test him?+ 19 Why will you not turn your gaze from me,+ Nor let me alone until I swallow my saliva?* 20 If I have sinned, what can I accomplish against you, the Observer of mankind?*+ Why is it that you have set me as your target, so that I should become a burden to you?* 21 And why do you not pardon my transgression+ And overlook my error? For now in dust+ I shall lie down; And you will certainly look for me, and I shall not be.”
^ “My spirit.” Heb., ru·chiʹ; Lat., spiʹri·tus.
^ Or, “make much of him.”
^ “Mankind.” Heb., ha·ʼa·dhamʹ.
^ “You,” LXX and the original Heb. text; M, “myself.” This is one of the Eighteen Emendations of the Jewish Sopherim. See App 2B.