The Vanity of Life.
For the choir director, for [a]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.”
2 I was mute [b]and silent,
I [c]refrained even from good,
And my [d]sorrow grew worse.
3 My 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, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Surely every man [e]at his best is [f]a mere breath. [g]Selah.
6 “Surely every man walks about as [h]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 You.
8 “Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
9 “I have become mute, I do not open my mouth,
Because it is You who have done it.
10 “Remove Your plague from me;
Because of the opposition of Your hand I am [i]perishing.
11 “With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity;
You 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 You,
A sojourner like all my fathers.
13 “Turn Your gaze away from me, that I may [j]smile again
Before I depart and am no more.”