1My spirit is broken, my days finished,
my burial at hand.
2Surely mockers surround me,
at their provocation, my eyes grow dim.
3Put up a pledge for me with you:*
who is there to give surety for me?
4You darken their minds to knowledge;
therefore you will not exalt them.
5For a share of property he informs on friends,
while the eyes of his children grow dim.
6I am made a byword of the people;a
I am one at whom people spit.
7My eyes are blind with anguish,
and my whole frame is like a shadow.
8The upright are astonished at this,
the innocent aroused against the wicked.
9The righteous holds to his way,
the one with clean hands increases in strength.
10But turn now, and come on again;
I do not find a wise man among you!
11My days pass by, my plans are at an end,
the yearning of my heart.
12They would change the night into day;
where there is darkness they talk of approaching light.
13* If my only hope is dwelling in Sheol,
and spreading my couch in darkness,
14If I am to say to the pit, “You are my father,”
and to the worm “my mother,” “my sister,”
15Where then is my hope,
my happiness, who can see it?
16Will they descend with me into Sheol?
Shall we go down together into the dust?
* [17:3] Addressed to God; v. 10 to Job’s friends.
* [17:13–16] Job elaborates another of the vivid descriptions of “life” in Sheol; cf. 3:13–23; 10:21–22.