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Psalm 39 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

Psalm 39

Show Me My Life’s End


For the choir director. For Jeduthun.[a] A psalm by David.

The Psalmist’s Anguish

I said, “I will guard my ways
so that I do not sin with my tongue.
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
    as long as the wicked are confronting me.”
I said nothing. I kept silent.
I did not even say anything good,
but my pain became worse.
Inside me my heart grew hot.
As I fretted, the fire burned.
So I spoke with my tongue.

The Shortness of Human Life

Lord, help me understand my end.
What is the limit of my days?
Let me know how fleeting I am.
See, you have cut short my days.[b]
My brief time before you is like nothing.
Indeed, every person, even at his best,
    is just a puff of air.[c] Interlude
A man flickers like a mirage.
He really has no more effect than a breeze.[d]
He piles things up, never knowing who will get them.

The Enduring Goodness of God

But now what do I wait for, Lord?
My hope is in you.
Save me from all my rebellious acts.
Do not let fools scorn me.
I said nothing.
I did not open my mouth,
because you are the one who caused this.
10 Stop punching me.
By the attack of your hand I am finished.
11 By your rebuke against guilt you discipline a man.
Like a moth you consume what he desires.
Indeed, every person is nothing but a puff of air. Interlude

Closing Prayer

12 Hear my prayer, O Lord.
Listen to my cry.
Do not ignore my tears,
for with you I am an alien,
just a visitor, as were all my ancestors.
13 Look away from me, so I can smile again
before I depart and am no more.


  1. Psalm 39:1 For Jeduthun may refer to the director of music to whom David entrusted this psalm. Or, if translated according to Jeduthun, this may refer to a musical style or a melody associated with Jeduthun.
  2. Psalm 39:5 Literally made them a few handbreadths. A handbreadth is about three inches.
  3. Psalm 39:5 Or a vapor that vanishes
  4. Psalm 39:6 Or he is all worked up for nothing
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version®, EHV®, © 2019 Wartburg Project, Inc. All rights reserved.

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)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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