71Human life is like forced army service,
like a life of hard manual labour,
2like slaves longing for cool shade;
like workers waiting for their pay.
3Month after month I have nothing to live for;
night after night brings me grief.
4When I lie down to sleep, the hours drag;
I toss all night and long for dawn.
5My body is full of worms;
it is covered with scabs;
pus runs out of my sores.
6My days pass by without hope,
pass faster than a weaver's shuttle.7.6 weaver's shuttle: A small device in the loom which carries threads to and fro rapidly in weaving cloth.
7Remember, O God, my life is only a breath;
my happiness has already ended.
8You see me now, but never again.
If you look for me, I'll be gone.
9-10Like a cloud that fades and is gone,
people die and never return;
they are forgotten by all who knew them.
11No! I can't be quiet!
I am angry and bitter.
I have to speak.
12Why do you keep me under guard?
Do you think I am a sea monster?7.12 sea monster: A reference to ancient stories in which sea monsters had to be guarded so that they would not escape and do damage.
13I lie down and try to rest;
I look for relief from my pain.
14But you — you terrify me with dreams;
you send me visions and nightmares
15until I would rather be strangled
than live in this miserable body.
16I give up; I am tired of living.
Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.
Why are human beings so important to you?
Why pay attention to what they do?
18You inspect them every morning
and test them every minute.
19Won't you look away long enough
for me to swallow my spittle?
20Are you harmed by my sin, you jailer?
Why use me for your target practice?
Am I so great a burden to you?
21Can't you ever forgive my sin?
Can't you pardon the wrong I do?
Soon I will be in my grave,
and I'll be gone when you look for me.