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Psalm 39

Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness

To the leader: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

I said, “I will guard my ways
    that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
    as long as the wicked are in my presence.”(A)
I was silent and still;
    I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse;(B)
    my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

Lord, let me know my end
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is.(C)
You have made my days a few handbreadths,
    and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath. Selah(D)
    Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
    they heap up and do not know who will gather.(E)

“And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
    My hope is in you.(F)
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
    Do not make me the scorn of the fool.(G)
I am silent; I do not open my mouth,
    for it is you who have done it.(H)
10 Remove your stroke from me;
    I am worn down by the blows[a] of your hand.(I)

11 “You chastise mortals
    in punishment for sin,
consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
    surely everyone is a mere breath. Selah(J)

12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord,
    and give ear to my cry;
    do not hold your peace at my tears.
For I am your passing guest,
    an alien, like all my forebears.(K)
13 Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
    before I depart and am no more.”(L)


  1. 39.10 Heb hostility