14 Human beings have only a few days to live. Their lives are full of trouble. 2 They grow like flowers, and then they dry up. They are like shadows that quickly disappear.
3 “God, do you even notice them? Will you let them appear in your court? 4 Who can bring what is pure from something that isn’t pure? No one! 5 You decide how long anyone will live. You have established the number of his months. You have set a limit to the number of his days. 6 So look away from him. Leave him alone. Let him put in his time like a hired worker.
7 “At least there is hope for a tree. If it’s cut down, it will begin to grow again. New branches will appear on it. 8 Its roots may grow old in the ground. Its stump may die in the soil. 9 But when it smells water, it will begin to grow. It will send out new growth like a plant. 10 No man is like that. When he dies, he is buried in a grave. He takes his last breath. Then he is gone. 11 Water dries up from lakes. Riverbeds become empty and dry. 12 In the same way, people lie down and never get up. People won’t wake or rise from their sleep until the heavens are gone.
13 “I wish you would hide me in a grave! I wish you would cover me up until your anger passes by! I wish you would set the time for me to spend in the grave and then bring me back up! 14 If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard work I will wait for the time when you give me new life. 15 You will call out to me, and I will answer you. You will long for the person your hands have made. 16 Then you will count every step I take. But you won’t keep track of my sin. 17 The wrong things I’ve done will be sealed up in a bag. You will wipe out my sins by forgiving them.
18 “A mountain wears away and crumbles. A rock is moved from its place. 19 Water wears away stones. Storms wash away soil. In the same way, you destroy a person’s hope. 20 You overpower them completely, and then they’re gone. You change the way they look and send them to their graves. 21 If their children are honored, they don’t even know it. If their children are dishonored, they don’t even see it. 22 All they feel is the pain of their own bodies. They are full of sadness only for themselves.”
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