The Vanity of Life.

For the choir director, for [a]Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

39 I said, “I will (A)guard my ways
That I (B)may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard (C)my mouth as with a muzzle
While the wicked are in my presence.”
I was (D)mute [b]and silent,
I [c]refrained even from good,
And my [d]sorrow grew worse.
My (E)heart was hot within me,
While I was musing the fire burned;
Then I spoke with my tongue:
Lord, make me to know (F)my end
And what is the extent of my days;
Let me know how (G)transient I am.
“Behold, You have made (H)my days as handbreadths,
And my (I)lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Surely every man [e]at his best is [f]a mere (J)breath. [g]Selah.
“Surely every man (K)walks about as [h]a phantom;
Surely they make an (L)uproar for nothing;
He (M)amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My (N)hope is in You.
(O)Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Make me not the (P)reproach of the foolish.
“I have become (Q)mute, I do not open my mouth,
Because it is (R)You who have done it.
10 (S)Remove Your plague from me;
Because of (T)the opposition of Your hand I am [i]perishing.
11 “With (U)reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity;
You (V)consume as a moth what is precious to him;
Surely (W)every man is a mere breath. Selah.

12 (X)Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry;
Do not be silent (Y)at my tears;
For I am (Z)a stranger with You,
A (AA)sojourner like all my fathers.
13 (AB)Turn Your gaze away from me, that I may [j]smile again
Before I depart and am no more.”


  1. Psalm 39:1 1 Chr 16:41
  2. Psalm 39:2 Lit with silence
  3. Psalm 39:2 Lit kept silence
  4. Psalm 39:2 Lit pain
  5. Psalm 39:5 Lit standing firm
  6. Psalm 39:5 Or altogether vanity
  7. Psalm 39:5 Selah may mean: Pause, Crescendo or Musical interlude
  8. Psalm 39:6 Lit an image
  9. Psalm 39:10 Or wasting away
  10. Psalm 39:13 Or become cheerful

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