14 Human beings born by women are short-lived[a] and full of trouble. 2 He springs up[b] like a flower and then withers.[c] Like a shadow, he disappears[d] and doesn’t last. 3 Indeed, have you opened your eyes on one like this— to bring me into a legal fight with you? 4 Who can produce a clean thing from an unclean thing? No one! 5 Since his days have been determined, the number of his months is known to you. You’ve set his limit and he cannot exceed it. 6 Look away from him and leave him alone, so he can enjoy his time, like a hired worker.”
Death is Certain
7 “There is hope for the tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots won’t stop growing. 8 Even if its roots have grown ancient in the earth, and its stump begins to rot[e] in the ground, 9 the presence[f] of water will make it to bud so that it sprouts new branches like a young plant.
10 “But when a person[g] dies and wastes away, when a person[h] breathes his last, where will he be? 11 As water disappears from the sea, or water evaporates from a river, 12 so also a person[i] lies down and does not get up; they won’t awaken until the heavens are no more, nor will they arise from their sleep.”
There is Life after Death
13 “Won’t you keep me safe in the afterlife?[j] Conceal me until your anger subsides. Set an appointment for me, then remember me. 14 If a human being[k] dies, will he live again? I will endure the entire time of my assigned service, until I am changed.[l] 15 You’ll call and I’ll answer you; you’ll long for your creatures that your hands have made.[m] 16 Then you’ll certainly count every step I took, but you won’t keep an inventory of my sin. 17 My transgressions would be sealed up in a bag; you would cover over my sins.
18 “Mountains fall and crumble; rocks are dislodged from their places. 19 Water wears away stones; floods wash away topsoil from the land— but you destroy the hope of human beings just like that! 20 You overpower him once and for all, and then he departs; you change his appearance and then send him away.
21 “If his children are honored, he doesn’t know it; if they become insignificant, he never perceives it. 22 He feels only his own pain,[n] and grieves only for himself.”
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