'May the day on which I was to be born perish, As well as the night which
said, ‘A boy is conceived.’
May that day be darkness; May God above not care for it, Nor light shine on it.
May darkness and black gloom claim it; May a cloud settle on it; May the blackness of the day terrify it.
that night, may darkness seize it; May it not rejoice among the days of the year; May it not come into the number of the months.
Behold, may that night be barren; May no joyful shout enter it.
May those curse it who curse the day, Who are prepared to disturb Leviathan.
May the stars of its twilight be darkened; May it wait for light but have none, And may it not see the breaking dawn;
Because it did not shut the opening of my mother’s
womb, Or hide trouble from my eyes.
'Why did I not die at birth, Come out of the womb and pass away?
Why were the knees there
in front of me, And why the breasts, that I would nurse?
For now I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
With kings and counselors of the earth, Who rebuilt ruins for themselves;
Or with rulers who had gold, Who were filling their houses with
Or like a miscarriage which is hidden, I would not exist, As infants that never saw light.
There the wicked cease from raging, And there the weary are at rest.
The prisoners are at ease together; They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
The small and the great are there, And the slave is free from his master.
'Why is light given to one burdened with grief, And life to the bitter of soul,
Who long for death, but there is none, And dig for it more than for hidden treasures;
Who are filled with jubilation, And
rejoice when they find the grave?
Why is light given
to a man whose way is hidden, And whom God has shut off?
For my groaning comes at the sight of my food, And my cries pour out like water.
For what I fear comes upon me, And what I dread encounters me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.'
'If one ventures a word with you, will you become impatient? But who can refrain from speaking?
Behold, you have taught many, And you have strengthened weak hands.
Your words have helped the stumbling to stand, And you have strengthened feeble knees.
But now it comes to you, and you are impatient; It touches you, and you are horrified.
Is your fear of God
not your confidence, And the integrity of your ways your hope?
'Remember now, who ever
perished being innocent? Or where were the upright destroyed?
According to what I have seen, those who plow wrongdoing And those who sow trouble harvest it.
By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they come to an end.
The roaring of the lion and the voice of the fierce
lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken out.
The lion perishes for lack of prey, And the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
'Now a word was brought to me secretly, And my ear received a whisper of it.
Amid disquieting thoughts from visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on people,
Dread came upon me, and trembling, And made all my bones shake.
Then a spirit passed by my face; The hair of my flesh stood up.
was standing still, but I could not recognize its appearance; A form was
before my eyes; There was
silence, then I heard a voice:
‘Can mankind be righteous before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?
He puts no trust even in His servants; And He accuses His angels of error.
How much more those who live in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before the moth!
Between morning and evening they are broken in pieces; Unregarded, they perish forever.
Is their tent-cord not pulled out within them? They die, yet without wisdom.’