Chapter 10

1I am disgusted with life; I will give rein to my complaint, Speak in the bitterness of my soul.

אנָקְטָה נַפְשִׁי בְּחַיָּי אֶעֶזְבָה עָלַי שִׂיחִי אֲדַבְּרָה בְּמַר נַפְשִׁי׃

2I say to Hashem, “Do not condemn me; Let me know what You charge me with.

באֹמַר אֶל־אֱלוֹהַּ אַל־תַּרְשִׁיעֵנִי הוֹדִיעֵנִי עַל מַה־תְּרִיבֵנִי׃

3Does it benefit You to defraud, To despise the toil of Your hands, While smiling on the counsel of the wicked?

גהֲטוֹב לְךָ כִּי־תַעֲשֹׁק כִּי־תִמְאַס יְגִיעַ כַּפֶּיךָ וְעַל־עֲצַת רְשָׁעִים הוֹפָעְתָּ׃

4Do You have the eyes of flesh? Is Your vision that of mere men?

דהַעֵינֵי בָשָׂר לָךְ אִם־כִּרְאוֹת אֱנוֹשׁ תִּרְאֶה׃

5Are Your days the days of a mortal, Are Your years the years of a man,

ההֲכִימֵי אֱנוֹשׁ יָמֶיךָ אִם־שְׁנוֹתֶיךָ כִּימֵי גָבֶר׃

6That You seek my iniquity And search out my sin?

וכִּי־תְבַקֵּשׁ לַעֲוׂנִי וּלְחַטָּאתִי תִדְרוֹשׁ׃

7You know that I am not guilty, And that there is none to deliver from Your hand.

זעַל־דַּעְתְּךָ כִּי־לֹא אֶרְשָׁע וְאֵין מִיָּדְךָ מַצִּיל׃

8“Your hands shaped and fashioned me, Then destroyed every part of me.

חיָדֶיךָ עִצְּבוּנִי וַיַּעֲשׂוּנִי יַחַד סָבִיב וַתְּבַלְּעֵנִי׃

9Consider that You fashioned me like clay; Will You then turn me back into dust?

טזְכָר־נָא כִּי־כַחֹמֶר עֲשִׂיתָנִי וְאֶל־עָפָר תְּשִׁיבֵנִי׃

10You poured me out like milk, Congealed me like cheese;

יהֲלֹא כֶחָלָב תַּתִּיכֵנִי וְכַגְּבִנָּה תַּקְפִּיאֵנִי׃

11You clothed me with skin and flesh And wove me of bones and sinews;

יאעוֹר וּבָשָׂר תַּלְבִּישֵׁנִי וּבַעֲצָמוֹת וְגִידִים תְּסֹכְכֵנִי׃

12You bestowed on me life and care; Your providence watched over my spirit.

יבחַיִּים וָחֶסֶד עָשִׂיתָ עִמָּדִי וּפְקֻדָּתְךָ שָׁמְרָה רוּחִי׃

13Yet these things You hid in Your heart; I know that You had this in mind:

יגוְאֵלֶּה צָפַנְתָּ בִלְבָבֶךָ יָדַעְתִּי כִּי־זֹאת עִמָּךְ׃

14To watch me when I sinned And not clear me of my iniquity;

ידאִם־חָטָאתִי וּשְׁמַרְתָּנִי וּמֵעֲוׂנִי לֹא תְנַקֵּנִי׃

15Should I be guilty—the worse for me! And even when innocent, I cannot lift my head; So sated am I with shame, And drenched in my misery.

טואִם־רָשַׁעְתִּי אַלְלַי לִי וְצָדַקְתִּי לֹא־אֶשָּׂא רֹאשִׁי שְׂבַע קָלוֹן וּרְאֵה עָנְיִי׃

16It is something to be proud of to hunt me like a lion, To show Yourself wondrous through me time and again!

טזוְיִגְאֶה כַּשַּׁחַל תְּצוּדֵנִי וְתָשֹׁב תִּתְפַּלָּא־בִי׃

17You keep sending fresh witnesses against me, Letting Your vexation with me grow. I serve my term and am my own replacement.

יזתְּחַדֵּשׁ עֵדֶיךָ נֶגְדִּי וְתֶרֶב כַּעַשְׂךָ עִמָּדִי חֲלִיפוֹת וְצָבָא עִמִּי׃

18“Why did You let me come out of the womb? Better had I expired before any eye saw me,

v'-LA-mah may-RE-khem ho-tzay-TA-nee eg-VA v'-A-yin lo tir-AY-nee

יחוְלָמָּה מֵרֶחֶם הֹצֵאתָנִי אֶגְוַע וְעַיִן לֹא־תִרְאֵנִי׃

 10:18   Why did You let me come out of the womb?

The Hebrew word for ‘womb,’ rekhem (רחם), shares a root with the word for ‘compassion,’ which is rakhamim (רחמים). While at first glance the connection between these two words may be unclear, upon further thought it becomes obvious. A mother has a natural love and compassion for her offspring, the fruit of her womb. Iyov wishes he had never been taken out of the womb, because he feels bereft not only of Hashem’s justice, but also of His compassion and mercy.

19Had I been as though I never was, Had I been carried from the womb to the grave.

יטכַּאֲשֶׁר לֹא־הָיִיתִי אֶהְיֶה מִבֶּטֶן לַקֶּבֶר אוּבָל׃

20My days are few, so desist! Leave me alone, let me be diverted a while

כהֲלֹא־מְעַט יָמַי יחדל [וַחֲדָל] ישית [וְשִׁית] מִמֶּנִּי וְאַבְלִיגָה מְּעָט׃

21Before I depart—never to return— For the land of deepest gloom;

כאבְּטֶרֶם אֵלֵךְ וְלֹא אָשׁוּב אֶל־אֶרֶץ חֹשֶׁךְ וְצַלְמָוֶת׃

22A land whose light is darkness, All gloom and disarray, Whose light is like darkness.”

כבאֶרֶץ עֵיפָתָה כְּמוֹ אֹפֶל צַלְמָוֶת וְלֹא סְדָרִים וַתֹּפַע כְּמוֹ־אֹפֶל׃