Psalm 39[a]

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

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.”
So I remained utterly silent,(D)
    not even saying anything good.
But my anguish(E) increased;
    my heart grew hot(F) within me.
While I meditated,(G) the fire(H) burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
    and the number of my days;(I)
    let me know how fleeting(J) my life is.(K)
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]

“Surely everyone goes around(N) like a mere phantom;(O)
    in vain they rush about,(P) heaping up wealth(Q)
    without knowing whose it will finally be.(R)

“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
    My hope is in you.(S)
Save me(T) from all my transgressions;(U)
    do not make me the scorn(V) of fools.
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)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 39:1 In Hebrew texts 39:1-13 is numbered 39:2-14.
  2. Psalm 39:5 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 11.

39 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.

My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.

Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.

I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.

10 Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.

11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

12 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

13 O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

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