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1“Man that is born of a woman

is of few days, and full of trouble.

2He comes forth like a flower, and withers;

he flees like a shadow, and continues not.

3And dost thou open thy eyes upon such a one

and bring him into judgment with thee?

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

There is not one.

5Since his days are determined,

and the number of his months is with thee,

and thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass,

6look away from him, and desist,

that he may enjoy, like a hireling, his day.

7“For there is hope for a tree,

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

and that its shoots will not cease.

8Though its root grow old in the earth,

and its stump die in the ground,

9yet at the scent of water it will bud

and put forth branches like a young plant.

10But man dies, and is laid low;

man breathes his last, and where is he?

11As waters fail from a lake,

and a river wastes away and dries up,

12so man lies down and rises not again;

till the heavens are no more he will not awake,

or be roused out of his sleep.

13Oh that thou wouldest hide me in Sheol,

that thou wouldest conceal me until thy wrath be past,

that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!

14If a man die, shall he live again?

All the days of my service I would wait,

till my release should come.

15Thou wouldest call, and I would answer thee;

thou wouldest long for the work of thy hands.

16For then thou wouldest number my steps,

thou wouldest not keep watch over my sin;

17my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,

and thou wouldest 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 thou destroyest the hope of man.

20Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passes;

thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.

21His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;

they are brought low, and he perceives it not.

22He feels only the pain of his own body,

and he mourns only for himself.”

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

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