Add parallel Print Page Options

To the director, Jeduthun.[a] A song of David.

39 I said, “I will be careful about what I say.
    I will not let my tongue cause me to sin.
I will keep my mouth closed[b]
    when I am around wicked people.”

So I didn’t say anything.
    I didn’t even say anything good,
    but I became even more upset.
I was very angry,
    and the more I thought about it, the angrier I became.
    So I said something.

Lord, tell me, what will happen to me now?
    Tell me, how long will I live?
    Let me know how short my life really is.
You gave me only a short life.
    Compared to you, my whole life is nothing.
The life of every human is like a cloud that quickly disappears. Selah

Our life is like an image in a mirror.[c]
    We rush through life collecting things,
    but we don’t know who will get them after we die.

So, Lord, what hope do I have?
    You are my hope!
Save me from the bad things I did.
    Don’t let me be treated like a fool.
I will not open my mouth.
    I will not say anything.
    You did what should have been done.
10 But please stop punishing me.
    You will destroy me if you do not stop.
11 You punish people for doing wrong to teach them the right way to live.
    As a moth destroys cloth, you destroy what people love.
    Yes, our lives are like a small cloud that quickly disappears. Selah

12 Lord, hear my prayer!
    Listen to the words I cry to you.
    Look at my tears.
I am only a traveler passing through this life with you.
    Like all my ancestors, I will live here only a short time.[d]
13 Leave me alone[e] and let me be happy
    before I am dead and gone.


  1. Psalm 39:1 Psalm 39 Jeduthun Or “and to Jeduthun,” one of the three main temple musicians. See 1 Chron. 9:16; 16:38-42.
  2. Psalm 39:1 will keep … closed Literally, “guard my mouth with a muzzle.”
  3. Psalm 39:6 Our life … mirror Or “This life is not real—it is only a shadow” or “People wander around in the dark—not knowing what will happen.”
  4. Psalm 39:12 I will live … time Literally, “I am a settler.”
  5. Psalm 39:13 Leave me alone Or “Stop looking at me.”

Psalm 39[a]

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

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

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

“Surely everyone goes around(N) like a mere phantom;(O)
    in vain they rush about,(P) heaping up wealth(Q)
    without knowing whose it will finally be.(R)

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

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


  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.