Psalm 39 To the Chief Musician; for Jeduthun [founder of an official musical family]. A Psalm of David. 39 1I SAID, I will take heed and guard my ways, that I may sin not with my tongue; I will muzzle my mouth as with a bridle while the wicked are before me. 2I was dumb with silence, I held my peace without profit and had no comfort away from good, while my distress was renewed. 3My heart was hot within me. While I was musing, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: 4Lord, make me to know my end and [to appreciate] the measure of my days--what it is; let me know and realize how frail I am [how transient is my stay here]. 5Behold, You have made my days as [short as] handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in Your sight. Truly every man at his best is merely a breath! Selah [pause, and think calmly of that]! 6Surely every man walks to and fro--like a shadow in a pantomime; surely for futility and emptiness he is in turmoil; each one heaps up riches, not knowing who will gather them. 7And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You. 8Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the scorn and reproach of the [self-confident] fool! 9I am dumb, I open not my mouth, for it is You Who has done it. 10Remove Your stroke away from me; I am consumed by the conflict and the blow of Your hand. 11When with rebukes You correct and chasten man for sin, You waste his beauty like a moth and what is dear to him consumes away; surely every man is a mere breath. Selah [pause, and think calmly of that]! 12Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not Your peace at my tears! For I am Your passing guest, a temporary resident, as all my fathers were. 13O look away from me and spare me, that I may recover cheerfulness and encouraging strength and know gladness before I go and am no more!
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