39 I told myself, “I will keep watch over my tongue to keep from sinning. I will muzzle my mouth when the wicked are around.” 2 I was as silent as a mute person; I said nothing, not even something good, and my distress deepened. 3 My heart within me became incensed;[a] as I thought about it, the fire burned.
Then I[b] spoke out: 4 “Lord, let me know how my life ends,[c] and the standard by which you will measure[d] my days, whatever it is! Then I will know how transient my life is. 5 Look, you have made my life span fit in your hand; It is nothing compared to yours. Surely every person at their best is a puff of wind. Interlude 6 In fact, people walk around as shadows. Surely, they busy themselves for nothing, heaping up possessions but not knowing who will get them. 7 How long, Lord, will I wait expectantly? I have placed my hope in you. 8 Deliver me from all my transgressions, and do not let fools scorn me.”
9 I remain silent; I do not open my mouth, for you are the one who acted. 10 Stop scourging me, since I have been crushed by your heavy hand. 11 You rebuke by chastening a man with the consequence of iniquities; you destroy what is attractive to him, as one would treat a moth. Indeed, every person is a puff of wind. Interlude
12 Hear my prayer, Lord, pay attention to my cry, and do not ignore my tears. I am an alien in your presence, a stranger just like my ancestors were. 13 Stop looking at me with chastisement,[e] so I can smile again, before I depart and am no more.
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