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1“A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble,

2comes up like a flower and withers,

flees like a shadow and does not last.

3Do you fix your eyes on such a one?

Do you bring me into judgment with you?

4Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?

No one can.

5Since their days are determined,

and the number of their months is known to you,

and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass,

6look away from them, and desist,

that they may enjoy, like laborers, their days.

7“For there is hope for a tree,

if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,

and that its shoots will not cease.

8Though its root grows old in the earth,

and its stump dies in the ground,

9yet at the scent of water it will bud

and put forth branches like a young plant.

10But mortals die, and are laid low;

humans expire, and where are they?

11As waters fail from a lake,

and a river wastes away and dries up,

12so mortals lie down and do not rise again;

until the heavens are no more, they will not awake

or be roused out of their sleep.

13O that you would hide me in Sheol,

that you would conceal me until your wrath is past,

that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!

14If mortals die, will they live again?

All the days of my service I would wait

until my release should come.

15You would call, and I would answer you;

you would long for the work of your hands.

16For then you would not number my steps,

you would not keep watch over my sin;

17my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,

and you would cover over my iniquity.

18“But the mountain falls and crumbles away,

and the rock is removed from its place;

19the waters wear away the stones;

the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;

so you destroy the hope of mortals.

20You prevail forever against them, and they pass away;

you change their countenance, and send them away.

21Their children come to honor, and they do not know it;

they are brought low, and it goes unnoticed.

22They feel only the pain of their own bodies,

and mourn only for themselves.”

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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