New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Vanity of Life
1 For the leader, for Jeduthun.(A) A psalm of David.
2 I said, “I will watch my ways,
lest I sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth.”
3 Mute and silent before the wicked,
I refrain from good things.
But my sorrow increases;
4 my heart smolders within me.(B)
In my sighing a fire blazes up,
and I break into speech:
5 Lord, let me know my end, the number of my days,
that I may learn how frail I am.
6 To be sure, you establish the expanse of my days;
indeed, my life is as nothing before you.
Every man is but a breath.(C)
7 Man goes about as a mere phantom;
they hurry about, although in vain;
he heaps up stores without knowing for whom.
8 And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
You are my only hope.
9 From all my sins deliver me;
let me not be the taunt of fools.
10 I am silent and do not open my mouth
because you are the one who did this.
11 Take your plague away from me;
I am ravaged by the touch of your hand.
12 You chastise man with rebukes for sin;
like a moth you consume his treasures.
Every man is but a breath.
13 Listen to my prayer, Lord, hear my cry;
do not be deaf to my weeping!
For I am with you like a foreigner,
a refugee, like my ancestors.(D)
14 Turn your gaze from me, that I may smile
before I depart to be no more.
- Psalm 39 The lament of a mortally ill person who at first had resolved to remain silently submissive (Ps 39:2–4). But the grief was too much and now the psalmist laments the brevity and vanity of life (Ps 39:5–7), yet remaining hopeful (Ps 39:8–10). The psalmist continues to express both acceptance of the illness and hope for healing in Ps 39:11–13.