The Vanity of Life.
For the choir director, for Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
1I Said, “I will guard my ways,
That I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle,
While the wicked are in my presence.”
2I was dumb and silent,
I refrained even from good;
And my sorrow grew worse.
3My heart was hot within me;
While I was musing the fire burned;
Then I spoke with my tongue:
4“LORD, make me to know my end,
And what is the extent of my days,
Let me know how transient I am.
5“Behold, Thou hast made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Thy sight,
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.
6“Surely every man walks about as a phantom;
Surely they make an uproar for nothing;
He amasses riches, and does not know who will gather them.
7“And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in Thee.
8“Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
9“I have become dumb, I do not open my mouth,
Because it is Thou who hast done it.
10“Remove Thy plague from me;
Because of the opposition of Thy hand, I am perishing.
11“With reproofs Thou dost chasten a man for iniquity;
Thou dost consume as a moth what is precious to him;
Surely every man is a mere breath. Selah.
12“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry;
Do not be silent at my tears;
For I am a stranger with Thee,
A sojourner like all my fathers.
13“Turn Thy gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
Before I depart and am no more.”