1All of us#Heb adam are born of women,
have few days, and are full of turmoil.
2Like a flower, we#Or he; also he in 14:5-6 bloom, then wither,
flee like a shadow, and don’t last.
(3Yes, you open your eyes on this one;
you bring me into trial against you.)
4Who can make pure from impure?
5If our days are fixed, the number of our months with you,
you set a statute and we can’t exceed it.
6Look away from us that we may rest,
until we are satisfied like a worker at day’s end.
Trees versus humans
7Indeed there is hope for a tree.
If it’s cut down and still sprouting
and its shoots don’t fail,
8if its roots age in the ground
and its stump dies in the dust,
9at the scent of water, it will bud
and produce sprouts like a plant.
10But a human dies and lies there;
a person expires, and where is he?
11Water vanishes from the sea;
a river dries up completely.
12But a human lies down and doesn’t rise
until the heavens cease;
they don’t get up and awaken from sleep.
Momentary hope
13I wish you would hide me in the underworld,#Heb Sheol
conceal me until your anger passes,
set a time for me, and remember me.
14If people die, will they live again?
All the days of my service I would wait
until my restoration took place.
15You would call, and I would answer you;
you would long for your handiwork.
16Though you now number my steps,
you would not keep a record of my sin.
17My rebellion is sealed in a bag;
you would cover my sin.
God crushes hope
18But an eroding mountain breaks up,
and rock is displaced.
19Water wears away boulders;
floods carry away soil;
you destroy a people’s hope.
20You overpower them relentlessly, and they die;
you change their appearance and send them away.
21Their children achieve honor, and they don’t know it;
their children become insignificant, and they don’t see it.
22They only feel the pain of their body,
and they mourn for themselves.
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