1“All of us born to women
live only a few days and have lots of trouble.
2We grow up like flowers and then dry up and die.
We are like a passing shadow that does not last.
3Lord, do you need to watch me like this?
Must you bring me before you to be judged?
4No one can bring something clean from something dirty.
5Our time is limited.
You have given us only so many months to live
and have set limits we cannot go beyond.
6So look away from us and leave us alone
until we put in our time like a laborer.
7“If a tree is cut down,
there is hope that it will grow again
and will send out new branches.
8Even if its roots grow old in the ground,
and its stump dies in the dirt,
9at the smell of water it will bud
and put out new shoots like a plant.
10But we die, and our bodies are laid in the ground;
we take our last breath and are gone.
11Water disappears from a lake,
and a river loses its water and dries up.
12In the same way, we lie down and do not rise again;
we will not get up or be awakened
until the heavens disappear.
13“I wish you would hide me in the grave;
hide me until your anger is gone.
I wish you would set a time
and then remember me!
14Will the dead live again?
All my days are a struggle;
I will wait until my change comes.
15You will call, and I will answer you;
you will desire the creature your hands have made.
16Then you will count my steps,
but you will not keep track of my sin.
17My wrongs will be closed up in a bag,
and you will cover up my sin.
18“A mountain washes away and crumbles;
and a rock can be moved from its place.
19Water washes over stones and wears them down,
and rushing waters wash away the dirt.
In the same way, you destroy hope.
20You defeat people forever, and they are gone;
you change their appearance and send them away.
21Their children are honored, but they do not know it;
their children are disgraced, but they do not see it.
22They only feel the pain of their body
and feel sorry for themselves.”
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