1 Human beings born by women are short-lived and full of trouble. 2 He springs up like a flower and then withers. Like a shadow, he disappears and doesn't last. 3 Indeed, have you opened your eyes on one like this to bring me into a legal fight with you? 4 Who can produce a clean thing from an unclean thing? No one! 5 Since his days have been determined, the number of his months is known to you. You've set his limit and he cannot exceed it. 6 Look away from him and leave him alone, so he can enjoy his time, like a hired worker."
7 "There is hope for the tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots won't stop growing. 8 Even if its roots have grown ancient in the earth, and its stump begins to rot in the ground, 9 the presence of water will make it to bud so that it sprouts new branches like a young plant. 10 "But when a person dies and wastes away, when a person breathes his last, where will he be? 11 As water disappears from the sea, or water evaporates from a river, 12 so also a person lies down and does not get up; they won't awaken until the heavens are no more, nor will they arise from their sleep."
13 "Won't you keep me safe in the afterlife? Conceal me until your anger subsides. Set an appointment for me, then remember me. 14 If a human being dies, will he live again? I will endure the entire time of my assigned service, until I am changed. 15 You'll call and I'll answer you; you'll long for your creatures that your hands have made. 16 Then you'll certainly count every step I took, but you won't keep an inventory of my sin. 17 My transgressions would be sealed up in a bag; you would cover over my sins.
18 "Mountains fall and crumble; rocks are dislodged from their places. 19 Water wears away stones; floods wash away topsoil from the land but you destroy the hope of human beings just like that! 20 You overpower him once and for all, and then he departs; you change his appearance and then send him away. 21 "If his children are honored, he doesn't know it; if they become insignificant, he never perceives it. 22 He feels only his own pain, and grieves only for himself."