14 “All of us born to women live only a few days and have lots of trouble. 2 We grow up like flowers and then dry up and die. We are like a passing shadow that does not last. 3 Lord, do you need to watch me like this? Must you bring me before you to be judged? 4 No one can bring something clean from something dirty. 5 Our time is limited. You have given us only so many months to live and have set limits we cannot go beyond. 6 So look away from us and leave us alone until we put in our time like a laborer.
7 “If a tree is cut down, there is hope that it will grow again and will send out new branches. 8 Even if its roots grow old in the ground, and its stump dies in the dirt, 9 at the smell of water it will bud and 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 in the grave; hide me until your anger is gone. I wish you would set a time and then remember me! 14 Will the dead live again? All my days are a struggle; I will wait until my change comes. 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 people forever, and they are gone; you change their appearance and send them away. 21 Their children are honored, but they do not know it; their children are disgraced, but they do not see it. 22 They only feel the pain of their body and feel sorry for themselves.”
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