1We are all born weak and helpless.
All lead the same short, troubled life.
2We grow and wither as quickly as flowers;
we disappear like shadows.
3Will you even look at me, God,
or put me on trial and judge me?
4Nothing clean can ever come
from anything as unclean as human beings.
5The length of their lives is decided beforehand —
the number of months they will live.
You have settled it, and it can't be changed.
6Look away from them and leave them alone;#14.6 One Hebrew manuscript and leave them alone; most Hebrew manuscripts so that they may rest.
let them enjoy their hard life — if they can.#14.6 let them… can; or until they finish their day of hard work.
7There is hope for a tree that has been cut down;
it can come back to life and sprout.
8Even though its roots grow old,
and its stump dies in the ground,
9with water it will sprout like a young plant.
10But people die, and that is the end of them;
they die, and where are they then?
11Like rivers that stop running,
and lakes that go dry,
12people die, never to rise.
They will never wake up while the sky endures;
they will never stir from their sleep.
13I wish you would hide me in the world of the dead;
let me be hidden until your anger is over,
and then set a time to remember me.
14If people die, can they come back to life?
But I will wait for better times,
wait till this time of trouble is ended.
15Then you will call, and I will answer,
and you will be pleased with me, your creature.
16Then you will watch every step I take,
but you will not keep track of my sins.
17You will forgive them and put them away;
you will wipe out all the wrongs I have done.
18There comes a time when mountains fall
and solid cliffs are moved away.
19Water will wear down rocks,
and heavy rain will wash away the soil;
so you destroy our hope for life.
20You overpower someone and send him away for ever;
his face is twisted in death.
21His sons win honour, but he never knows it,
nor is he told when they are disgraced.
22He feels only the pain of his own body
and the grief of his own mind.