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Psalm 39 American Standard Version (ASV)

The vanity of life.

For the Chief Musician, for [a]Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

39 I said, I will take heed to my ways,
That I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep [b]my mouth with a bridle,
While the wicked is before me.
I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, [c]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:
Jehovah, make me to know mine end,
And the measure of my days, what it is;
Let me know how frail I am.
Behold, thou hast made my days as handbreadths;
And my life-time is as nothing before thee:
Surely every man [d]at his best estate is altogether [e]vanity. Selah
Surely every man walketh [f]in a vain show;
Surely they are disquieted [g]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 [h]blow of thy hand.
11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity,
Thou [i]makest his beauty to consume away like a moth:
Surely every man is [j]vanity. Selah
12 Hear my prayer, O Jehovah, and give ear unto my cry;
Hold not thy peace at my tears:
For I am a stranger with thee,
A sojourner, as all my fathers were.
13 Oh [k]spare me, that I may [l]recover strength,
Before I go hence, and be no more.


  1. Psalm 39:1 62:title; 77:title; 1 Chr. 16:41; 25:1.
  2. Psalm 39:1 Hebrew a bridle (or muzzle) for my mouth.
  3. Psalm 39:2 Or, and had no comfort. Hebrew away from good.
  4. Psalm 39:5 Hebrew standing firm.
  5. Psalm 39:5 Hebrew a breath.
  6. Psalm 39:6 Or, as a shadow
  7. Psalm 39:6 Or, for vanity
  8. Psalm 39:10 Hebrew conflict.
  9. Psalm 39:11 Or, consumest like a moth his delights
  10. Psalm 39:11 Hebrew a breath.
  11. Psalm 39:13 Or, look away from me
  12. Psalm 39:13 Hebrew brighten up.

Psalm 39 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 39[a]

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

I said, “I will watch my ways
    and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
    while in the presence of the wicked.”
So I remained utterly silent,
    not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
    my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
    and the number of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
    the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
    even those who seem secure.[b]

“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
    in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
    without knowing whose it will finally be.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
    My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
    do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
    for you are the one who has done this.
10 Remove your scourge from me;
    I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
    you consume their wealth like a moth
    surely everyone is but a breath.

12 “Hear my prayer, Lord,
    listen to my cry for help;
    do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner,
    a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
13 Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
    before I depart and am no more.”


  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.
New International Version (NIV)

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