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BOOK IV (Psalms 90-106)

A prayer by Moses, the godly man

Life is Short

90 Lord, you’ve been our refuge[a]
    from generation to generation.
Before the mountains were formed
    or the earth and the world were brought forth,
        you are God from eternity to eternity.

You return people to dust
    merely by[b] saying, “Return, you mortals!”
One thousand years in your sight are but a single day
    that passes by, just like a night watch.
You will sweep them away while they are asleep—
    by morning they are like growing grass.
In the morning it blossoms and is renewed,
    but toward evening, it fades and withers.

Indeed, we are consumed[c] by your anger
    and terrified by your wrath.
You have set our iniquities before you,
    what we have concealed in the light of your presence.

All our days pass[d] away in your wrath;
    our years fade away[e] and end like a sigh.
10 We live for 70 years,
    or 80 years if we’re healthy,[f]
yet even in the prime years[g] there are troubles and sorrow.
    They pass by quickly and we fly away.

11 Who can know the intensity of your anger?
    Because our fear of you matches your wrath,
12 teach us to keep account of our days
    so we may develop inner wisdom.

13 Please return, Lord! When will it be?
    Comfort your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your gracious love
    so we may sing for joy
        and rejoice every day.
15 Cause us to rejoice throughout the time when you have afflicted us,
    the years when we have known[h] trouble.

16 May your awesome deeds be revealed to your servants,
    as well as your splendor to their children.
17 May your favor be on us, Lord our God;
    make our endeavors successful;
        yes, make our endeavors secure!


  1. Psalm 90:1 Or our dwelling place
  2. Psalm 90:3 The Heb. lacks merely by
  3. Psalm 90:7 Lit. finished
  4. Psalm 90:9 Or turn
  5. Psalm 90:9 Lit. are finished
  6. Psalm 90:10 Lit. strong
  7. Psalm 90:10 Lit. the pride
  8. Psalm 90:15 Lit. seen