I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.”
So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased;
my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.
“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools.
I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this.
Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin, you consume their wealth like a moth— surely everyone is but a breath.
“Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again before I depart and am no more.”