Job Muses on the Brevity of Life

141 "We're all adrift in the same boat: too few days, too many troubles. 2 We spring up like wildflowers in the desert and then wilt, transient as the shadow of a cloud. 3 Do you occupy your time with such fragile wisps? Why even bother hauling me into court? 4 There's nothing much to us to start with; how do you expect us to amount to anything? 5 Mortals have a limited life span. You've already decided how long we'll live - you set the boundary and no one can cross it. 6 So why not give us a break? Ease up! Even ditchdiggers get occasional days off.

7 For a tree there is always hope. Chop it down and it still has a chance - its roots can put out fresh sprouts. 8 Even if its roots are old and gnarled, its stump long dormant, 9 At the first whiff of water it comes to life, buds and grows like a sapling. 10 But men and women? They die and stay dead. They breathe their last, and that's it. 11 Like lakes and rivers that have dried up, parched reminders of what once was, 12 So mortals lie down and never get up, never wake up again - never. 13 Why don't you just bury me alive, get me out of the way until your anger cools? But don't leave me there! Set a date when you'll see me again. 14 If we humans die, will we live again? That's my question. All through these difficult days I keep hoping, waiting for the final change - for resurrection! 15 Homesick with longing for the creature you made, you'll call - and I'll answer!

16 You'll watch over every step I take, but you won't keep track of my missteps. 17 My sins will be stuffed in a sack and thrown into the sea - sunk in deep ocean. 18 "Meanwhile, mountains wear down and boulders break up, 19 Stones wear smooth and soil erodes, as you relentlessly grind down our hope. 20 You're too much for us. As always, you get the last word. We don't like it and our faces show it, but you send us off anyway. 21 If our children do well for themselves, we never know it; if they do badly, we're spared the hurt. 22 Body and soul, that's it for us - a lifetime of pain, a lifetime of sorrow."