New Revised Standard Version
Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness
To the leader: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
1 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.”
2 I was silent and still;
I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
3 my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
4 “Lord, let me know my end,
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 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
6 Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
they heap up, and do not know who will gather.
7 “And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool.
9 I am silent; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me;
I am worn down by the blows[a] of your hand.
11 “You chastise mortals
in punishment for sin,
consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
surely everyone is a mere breath.Selah
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.
13 Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
before I depart and am no more.”
- Psalm 39:10 Heb hostility
Contemporary English Version
(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)
A Prayer for Forgiveness
39 I told myself, “I’ll be careful
not to sin by what I say,
and I’ll muzzle my mouth
when evil people are near.”
2 I kept completely silent,
but it did no good,[a]
and I hurt even worse.
3 I felt a fire burning inside,
and the more I thought,
the more it burned,
until at last I said:
4 “Please, Lord,
show me my future.
Will I soon be gone?
5 You made my life short,
so brief that the time
means nothing to you.
“Human life is but a breath,
6 and it disappears
like a shadow.
Our struggles are senseless;
we store up more and more,
without ever knowing
who will get it all.
7 “What am I waiting for?
I depend on you, Lord!
8 Save me from my sins.
Don’t let fools sneer at me.
9 You treated me like this,
and I kept silent,
not saying a word.
10 “Won’t you stop punishing me?
You have worn me down.
11 You punish us severely
because of our sins.
Like a moth, you destroy
what we treasure most.
We are as frail as a breath.
12 “Listen, Lord, to my prayer!
My eyes are flooded with tears,
as I pray to you.
I am merely a stranger
visiting in your home
as my ancestors did.
13 Stop being angry with me
and let me smile again
before I am dead and gone.”
- 39.2 but. . . good: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.