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God’s Eternity and Human Frailty

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.[a]

90 O Lord, you have been our help[b] in all generations.[c]
Before the mountains were born
and you brought forth the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
You return man to the dust,
saying,[d] “Return, O sons of man.”
For a thousand years in your eyes
are like yesterday when it passes,
or like a watch in the night.
You sweep them away like a flood.
They fall asleep.[e]
In the morning they are like grass that sprouts anew.
In the morning it blossoms and sprouts anew;
by evening it withers and dries up.
For we are brought to an end by your anger,
and we hasten off[f] by your wrath.
You have put our iniquities before you,
our hidden sins into the light of your countenance.
For all of our days dwindle away in your rage;
we complete our years like a sigh.
10 As for the days of our years, within them are seventy years
or if by strength eighty years, and their pride[g] is trouble and disaster,
for it passes quickly and we fly away.
11 Who knows the strength of your anger,
and your rage consistent with[h] the fear due you?
12 So teach us to number our days
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Return,[i] O Yahweh. How long?
And have compassion on[j] your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your loyal love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen calamity.
16 Let your work be visible to your servants,
and your majesty to their children.
17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish for us the work of our hands,
yes, the work of our hands, establish it.


  1. Psalm 90:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm
  2. Psalm 90:1 Or “dwelling place”
  3. Psalm 90:1 Literally “in a generation and a generation”
  4. Psalm 90:3 Literally “and you say”
  5. Psalm 90:5 The interpretation of 5a is difficult
  6. Psalm 90:7 Or “we are terrified”
  7. Psalm 90:10 Or “span”
  8. Psalm 90:11 Hebrew “according to”
  9. Psalm 90:13 Or “Turn back your wrath
  10. Psalm 90:13 Or “change your mind concerning”