"Man born of woman1 is of few days2 and full of trouble.3
He springs up like a flower4 and withers away;5 like a fleeting shadow,6 he does not endure.7
Do you fix your eye on such a one?8 Will you bring him before you for judgment?9
Who can bring what is pure10 from the impure?11 No one!12
Man's days are determined;13 you have decreed the number of his months14 and have set limits he cannot exceed.15
So look away from him and let him alone,16 till he has put in his time like a hired man.17
"At least there is hope for a tree:18 If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots19 will not fail.20
Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump21 die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water22 it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.23
But man dies and is laid low;24 he breathes his last and is no more.25
As water disappears from the sea or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,26
so man lies down and does not rise;27 till the heavens are no more,28 men will not awake or be roused from their sleep.29
"If only you would hide me in the grave30 and conceal me till your anger has passed!31 If only you would set me a time and then remember32 me!33
If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service34 I will wait for my renewal35 to come.
You will call and I will answer you;36 you will long for the creature your hands have made.37
Surely then you will count my steps38 but not keep track of my sin.39
My offenses will be sealed40 up in a bag;41 you will cover over my sin.42
"But as a mountain erodes and crumbles43 and as a rock is moved from its place,44
as water wears away stones and torrents45 wash away the soil,46 so you destroy man's hope.47
You overpower him once for all, and he is gone;48 you change his countenance and send him away.49
If his sons are honored, he does not know it; if they are brought low, he does not see it.50
He feels but the pain of his own body51 and mourns only for himself.52"
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)