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Psalm 39Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Prayer for Wisdom and Forgiveness

To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

39 I said, “I will guard my ways,
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will bridle[a] my mouth,
    so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was dumb and silent,
    I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
    my heart became hot within me.
As I mused, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

Lord, let me know my end,
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is!
Behold, thou hast made my days a few handbreadths,
    and my lifetime is as nothing in thy sight.
Surely every man stands as a mere breath!Selah
    Surely man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nought are they in turmoil;
    man heaps up, and knows not who will gather!

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
    My hope is in thee.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
    Make me not the scorn of the fool!
I am dumb, I do not open my mouth;
    for it is thou who hast done it.
10 Remove thy stroke from me;
    I am spent by the blows[b] of thy hand.
11 When thou dost chasten man
    with rebukes for sin,
thou dost consume like a moth what is dear to him;
    surely every man is a mere breath!Selah

12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord,
    and give ear to my cry;
    hold not thy peace at my tears!
For I am thy passing guest,
    a sojourner, like all my fathers.
13 Look away from me, that I may know gladness,
    before I depart and be no more!”


  1. Psalm 39:1 Heb muzzle
  2. Psalm 39:10 Heb hostility
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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