14 “All of us born to women live only a few days and have a lot of trouble. 2 We grow up like flowers and then dry up and go away. We are like a passing shadow that does not last. 3 Lord, do you need to watch someone like this? Do you need to bring him before you to be judged? 4 I wish something clean could come from something unclean. But it never can! 5 Our time is limited. You have given us only so many months to live. You have set limits we cannot go beyond. 6 So look away from us and leave us alone. Leave us alone until we put in our time like a hired man.
7 “There is hope for a tree. If you cut it down, it will grow again. It will keep sending out new branches. 8 Its roots may grow old in the ground. And its stump may die in the dirt. 9 But at the smell of water it will bud. It will put out new shoots like a plant. 10 But we die, and our bodies are laid in the ground. We take our last breath and are gone. 11 Water disappears from a lake. And a river loses its water and dries up. 12 In the same way we lie down and do not rise again. We will not get up or be awakened until the heavens disappear.
13 “I wish you would hide me where the dead are. Hide me until your anger is gone. I wish you would set a time and then remember me! 14 Will the dead live again? I will wait, struggling hard until things change for me. 15 You will call, and I will answer you. You will desire the creature your hands have made. 16 Then you will count my steps. But you will not keep track of my sin. 17 My wrongs will be closed up in a bag. And you will cover up my sin.
18 “A mountain washes away and crumbles. And a rock can be moved from its place. 19 Water washes over stones and wears them down. And rushing waters wash away the dirt. In the same way, you destroy hope. 20 You defeat man forever, and he is gone. You change his appearance and send him away. 21 His sons are honored, but he does not know it. His sons are disgraced, but he does not see it. 22 He only feels the pain of his body. And he feels sorry only for himself.”
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