Job Muses on the Brevity of Life
141 Man, that is born of a woman, Is of few days, and full of trouble. 2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: He fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. 3 And dost thou open thine eyes upon such a one, And bringest me into judgment with thee? 4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. 5 Seeing his days are determined, The number of his months is with thee, And thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; 6 Look away from him, that he may rest, Till he shall accomplish, as a hireling, his day.
7 For there is hope of a tree, If it be cut down, that it will sprout again, And that the tender branch thereof will not cease. 8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, And the stock thereof die in the ground; 9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud, And put forth boughs like a plant. 10 But man dieth, and is laid low: Yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 11 [As] the waters fail from the sea, And the river wasteth and drieth up; 12 So man lieth down and riseth not: Till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, Nor be roused out of their sleep. 13 Oh that thou wouldest hide me in Sheol, That thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, That thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man die, shall he live [again]? All the days of my warfare would I wait, Till my release should come. 15 Thou wouldest call, and I would answer thee: Thou wouldest have a desire to the work of thy hands.
16 But now thou numberest my steps: Dost thou not watch over my sin? 17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag, And thou fastenest up mine iniquity. 18 But the mountain falling cometh to nought; And the rock is removed out of its place; 19 The waters wear the stones; The overflowings thereof wash away the dust of the earth: So thou destroyest the hope of man. 20 Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth; Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away. 21 His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; And they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them. 22 But his flesh upon him hath pain, And his soul within him mourneth.