Job Speaks of the Finality of Death
1“Man, who is born of a woman,
Is short-lived and full of turmoil.
“Like a flower he comes forth and withers;
He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.
“You also open Your eyes upon him
And bring him into judgment with Yourself.
“Who can make a clean thing out of the unclean?
“Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You [in Your control],
And You have made his limits so he cannot pass [his allotted time].
“[O God] turn your gaze from him so that he may rest,
Until he fulfills his day [on earth] like a hired man.
“For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that the shoots of it will not cease nor fail, [but there is no such hope for man].
“Though its roots grow old in the earth
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
Yet at the scent of water [the stump of the tree] will flourish
And bring forth sprigs and shoots like a seedling.
“But [the brave, strong] man must die and lie face down;
Man breathes his last, and where is he?
“As water evaporates from the sea,
And a river drains and dries up,
So man lies down and does not rise [again].
Until the heavens are no longer,
The dead will not awake nor be raised from their sleep.
“Oh, that You would hide me in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead),
That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
That You would set a definite time and then remember me [and in Your lovingkindness imprint me on your heart]!
“If a man dies, will he live again?
I will wait all the days of my struggle
Until my change and release will come.
“[Then] You will call, and I will answer You;
You will long for [me] the work of Your hands.
“But now You number [each of] my steps;
You do not observe nor take note of my sin.
“My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You cover my wickedness [from Your view].
“But as a mountain, if it falls, crumbles into nothing,
And as the rock is moved from its place,
Water wears away the stones,
Its floods and torrents wash away the soil of the earth,
So You [O Lord] destroy the hope of man.
“You prevail forever against him and overpower him, and he passes on;
You change his appearance and send him away [from the presence of the living].
“His sons achieve honor, and he does not know it;
They become insignificant, and he is not aware of it.
“But his body [lamenting its decay] grieves in pain over it,
And his soul mourns over [the loss of] himself.”