Add parallel Print Page Options

Job Continues

Why Is Life So Hard?

Why is life so hard?
    Why do we suffer?
We are slaves in search of shade;
we are laborers longing
    for our wages.
God has made my days drag on
    and my nights miserable.
I pray for night to end,
but it stretches out
    while I toss and turn.
My parched skin is covered
    with worms, dirt, and sores,
and my days are running out
quicker than the thread
    of a fast-moving needle.

Don’t Forget!

I beg you, God, don’t forget!
My life is just a breath,
    and trouble lies ahead.
I will vanish from sight,
and no one, including you,
    will ever see me again.
I will disappear in the grave
or vanish from sight
    like a passing cloud.
10 Never will I return home;
    soon I will be forgotten.

11 And so, I cry out to you
    in agony and distress.
12 Am I the sea or a sea monster?
    Is that why you imprison me?[a]
13 I go to bed, hoping for rest,
14 but you torture me
    with terrible dreams.
15 I’d rather choke to death
    than live in this body.
16 Leave me alone and let me die;
    my life has no meaning.
17 What makes you so concerned
    about us humans?
18 Why do you test us
    from sunrise to sunset?
19 Won’t you look away
just long enough
    for me to swallow?
20 Why do you watch us so closely?
    What’s it to you, if I sin?
Why am I your target
    and such a heavy burden?
21 Why do you refuse to forgive?
Soon you won’t find me,
    because I’ll be dead.

Footnotes

  1. 7.12 sea monster. . . imprison me: “Sea monster” translates the Hebrew word “Tannin,” which was possibly a sea monster similar to Leviathan (3.8), Rahab (9.13), and Behemoth (40.15). According to 38.8-11, God makes the sea his prisoner by setting its boundaries.

“Do not mortals have hard service(A) on earth?(B)
    Are not their days like those of hired laborers?(C)
Like a slave longing for the evening shadows,(D)
    or a hired laborer waiting to be paid,(E)
so I have been allotted months of futility,
    and nights of misery have been assigned to me.(F)
When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’(G)
    The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.(H)
My body is clothed with worms(I) and scabs,
    my skin is broken and festering.(J)

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,(K)
    and they come to an end without hope.(L)
Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath;(M)
    my eyes will never see happiness again.(N)
The eye that now sees me will see me no longer;
    you will look for me, but I will be no more.(O)
As a cloud vanishes(P) and is gone,
    so one who goes down to the grave(Q) does not return.(R)
10 He will never come to his house again;
    his place(S) will know him no more.(T)

11 “Therefore I will not keep silent;(U)
    I will speak out in the anguish(V) of my spirit,
    I will complain(W) in the bitterness of my soul.(X)
12 Am I the sea,(Y) or the monster of the deep,(Z)
    that you put me under guard?(AA)
13 When I think my bed will comfort me
    and my couch will ease my complaint,(AB)
14 even then you frighten me with dreams
    and terrify(AC) me with visions,(AD)
15 so that I prefer strangling and death,(AE)
    rather than this body of mine.(AF)
16 I despise my life;(AG) I would not live forever.(AH)
    Let me alone;(AI) my days have no meaning.(AJ)

17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them,
    that you give them so much attention,(AK)
18 that you examine them every morning(AL)
    and test them(AM) every moment?(AN)
19 Will you never look away from me,(AO)
    or let me alone even for an instant?(AP)
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you,(AQ)
    you who see everything we do?
Why have you made me your target?(AR)
    Have I become a burden to you?[a](AS)
21 Why do you not pardon my offenses
    and forgive my sins?(AT)
For I will soon lie down in the dust;(AU)
    you will search for me, but I will be no more.”(AV)

Footnotes

  1. Job 7:20 A few manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition and Septuagint; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text I have become a burden to myself.

Bible Gateway Sponsors