The Message

Psalm 90

A Prayer of Moses, Man of God

11-2 God, it seems you’ve been our home forever;
    long before the mountains were born,
Long before you brought earth itself to birth,
    from “once upon a time” to “kingdom come”—you are God.

3-11 So don’t return us to mud, saying,
    “Back to where you came from!”
Patience! You’ve got all the time in the world—whether
    a thousand years or a day, it’s all the same to you.
Are we no more to you than a wispy dream,
    no more than a blade of grass
That springs up gloriously with the rising sun
    and is cut down without a second thought?
Your anger is far and away too much for us;
    we’re at the end of our rope.
You keep track of all our sins; every misdeed
    since we were children is entered in your books.
All we can remember is that frown on your face.
    Is that all we’re ever going to get?
We live for seventy years or so
    (with luck we might make it to eighty),
And what do we have to show for it? Trouble.
    Toil and trouble and a marker in the graveyard.
Who can make sense of such rage,
    such anger against the very ones who fear you?

12-17 Oh! Teach us to live well!
    Teach us to live wisely and well!
Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?—
    and treat your servants with kindness for a change.
Surprise us with love at daybreak;
    then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.
Make up for the bad times with some good times;
    we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime.
Let your servants see what you’re best at—
    the ways you rule and bless your children.
And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
    confirming the work that we do.
    Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

Amplified Bible

Psalm 90

Book Four

God’s Eternity and Man’s Transitoriness.

A Prayer of Moses the man of God.

1Lord, You have been our dwelling place [our refuge, our sanctuary, our stability] in all generations.

Before the mountains were born
Or before You had given birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are [the eternal] God.


You turn man back to dust,
And say, “Return [to the earth], O children of [mortal] men!”

For a [a]thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
Or as a watch in the night.

You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep [forgotten as soon as they are gone];
In the morning they are like grass which grows anew—

In the morning it flourishes and springs up;
In the evening it wilts and withers away.


For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been terrified.

You have placed our wickedness before you,
Our secret sins [which we tried to conceal, You have placed] in the [revealing] light of Your presence.

For all our days pass away in Your wrath;
We have finished our years like a whispered sigh.
10 
The days of our life are [b]seventy years—
Or even, if because of strength, eighty years;
Yet their pride [in additional years] is only labor and sorrow,
For it is soon gone and we fly away.
11 
Who understands the power of Your anger? [Who connects this brevity of life among us with Your judgment of sin?]
And Your wrath, [who connects it] with the [reverent] fear that is due You?
12 
So teach us to number our days,
That we may cultivate and bring to You a heart of wisdom.

13 
Turn, O Lord [from Your fierce anger]; how long will it be?
Be compassionate toward Your servants—revoke Your sentence.
14 
O satisfy us with Your lovingkindness in the morning [now, before we grow older],
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 
Make us glad in proportion to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have suffered evil.
16 
Let Your work [the signs of Your power] be revealed to Your servants
And Your [glorious] majesty to their children.
17 
And let the [gracious] favor of the Lord our God be on us;
Confirm for us the work of our hands—
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

Notas al pie

  1. Psalm 90:4 This was understood by the ancient rabbis to mean that a “thousand years” are literally only one day in God’s reckoning, and Peter seems to confirm the idea in 2 Pet 3:8.
  2. Psalm 90:10 This psalm is credited to Moses, who is interceding with God to remove the curse which made it necessary for every Israelite over twenty years of age (when they rebelled against God at Kadesh-barnea) to die before reaching the promised land of Canaan (Num 14:26-35). Moses himself lived to be 120 years old, Aaron 123, Miriam several years older, and Joshua 110 years of age; but it is conceivable that Moses considered such longevity the exception. The ancient rabbis taught that by the time of David, 70 was the age of death for an old man and 80 for a vigorous old man.