International Standard Version
To the Director: To Jeduthun. A Davidic Psalm.
A Prayer about Life’s Priorities
39 I told myself, “I will keep watch over my tongue to keep from sinning.
I will muzzle my mouth when the wicked are around.”
2 I was as silent as a mute person;
I said nothing, not even something good,
and my distress deepened.
3 My heart within me became incensed;[a]
as I thought about it, the fire burned.
Then I[b] spoke out:
4 “Lord, let me know how my life ends,[c]
and the standard by which you will measure[d] my days, whatever it is!
Then I will know how transient my life is.
5 Look, you have made my life span fit in your hand;
It is nothing compared to yours.
Surely every person at their best is a puff of wind.
6 In fact, people walk around as shadows.
Surely, they busy themselves for nothing,
heaping up possessions but not knowing who will get them.
7 How long, Lord, will I wait expectantly?
I have placed my hope in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions,
and do not let fools scorn me.”
9 I remain silent;
I do not open my mouth,
for you are the one who acted.
10 Stop scourging me,
since I have been crushed by your heavy hand.
11 You rebuke by chastening a man with the consequence of iniquities;
you destroy what is attractive to him, as one would treat a moth.
Indeed, every person is a puff of wind.
12 Hear my prayer, Lord,
pay attention to my cry,
and do not ignore my tears.
I am an alien in your presence,
a stranger just like my ancestors were.
13 Stop looking at me with chastisement,[e] so I can smile again,
before I depart and am no more.
New International Version
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
1 I said, “I will watch my ways(A)
and keep my tongue from sin;(B)
I will put a muzzle on my mouth(C)
while in the presence of the wicked.”
2 So I remained utterly silent,(D)
not even saying anything good.
But my anguish(E) increased;
3 my heart grew hot(F) within me.
While I meditated,(G) the fire(H) burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;(I)
let me know how fleeting(J) my life is.(K)
5 You have made my days(L) a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,(M)
even those who seem secure.[b]
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.(S)
8 Save me(T) from all my transgressions;(U)
do not make me the scorn(V) of fools.
9 I was silent;(W) I would not open my mouth,(X)
for you are the one who has done this.(Y)
10 Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow(Z) of your hand.(AA)
11 When you rebuke(AB) and discipline(AC) anyone for their sin,
you consume(AD) their wealth like a moth(AE)—
surely everyone is but a breath.(AF)
12 “Hear my prayer, Lord,
listen to my cry for help;(AG)
do not be deaf(AH) to my weeping.(AI)
I dwell with you as a foreigner,(AJ)
a stranger,(AK) as all my ancestors were.(AL)
13 Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more.”(AM)