Psalm 39:1-13

  • Life’s shortness

    • Man is a mere breath (5, 11)

    • “Do not ignore my tears” (12)

To the director; of Je·duʹthun.*+ A melody of David. 39  I said: “I will guard my stepTo avoid sinning with my tongue.+ I will guard my mouth with a muzzle+As long as anyone wicked is in my presence.”   I was speechless and silent;+I kept quiet even about what is good,But my pain was intense.*   My heart smoldered* inside me. As I pondered,* the fire kept burning. Then my tongue spoke:   “O Jehovah, help me to know what my end will be,And the measure of my days,+So that I may know how short my life is.*   Indeed, you have made my days just a few;*+And my life span is as nothing before you.+ Surely every man, though he seems secure, is nothing but a mere breath.+ (Selah)   Surely every man walks about like a shadow. He rushes around* for nothing. He piles up wealth, not knowing who will enjoy it.+   What, then, can I hope for, O Jehovah? You are my only hope.   Save me from all my transgressions.+ Do not let the foolish one make me an object of contempt.   I remained speechless;I could not open my mouth,+Because this was your doing.+ 10  Remove your plague from me. I am worn down because your hand strikes me. 11  You correct man with punishment for his error;+You consume the things he treasures just as a moth does. Surely every man is but a mere breath.+ (Selah) 12  Hear my prayer, O Jehovah,Listen to my cry for help.+ Do not ignore my tears. For I am but a foreign resident to you,+A traveler passing through,* just like all my forefathers.+ 13  Turn your harsh gaze away from me so that I may cheer upBefore I pass away and I am gone.”


Or “stirred up.”
Lit., “grew hot.”
Or “sighed.”
Or “how transient I am.”
Lit., “handbreadths.”
Lit., “makes noise.”
Or “A settler.”