Job Muses on the Brevity of Life
14 1 Man, born of woman, is of few days, and full of trouble. 2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; and he fleeth as a shadow, and continueth not. 3 Yet dost thou open thine eyes upon such a one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? 4 Who can bring a clean [man] out of the unclean? Not one! 5 If his days are determined, if the number of his months is with thee, [and] thou hast appointed his bounds which he must not pass, 6 Look away from him; and let him rest, till he accomplish, as a hireling, his day.
7 For there is hope for a tree: if it be cut down, it will sprout again, and its tender branch will not cease; 8 Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stock die in the ground, 9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and put forth boughs like a young plant. 10 But a man dieth, and is prostrate; yea, man expireth, and where is he? 11 The waters recede from the lake, and the river wasteth and drieth up: 12 So man lieth down, and riseth not again; till the heavens be no more, they do not awake, nor are raised out of their sleep. 13 Oh that thou wouldest hide me in Sheol, that thou wouldest keep me secret until thine anger 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 time of toil would I wait, till my change should come: 15 Thou wouldest call, and I would answer thee; thou wouldest have a desire after the work of thy hands.
16 For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin? 17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou heapest up mine iniquity. 18 And indeed a mountain falling cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of its place; 19 The waters wear the stones, the floods thereof wash away the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man. 20 Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth away; thou changest his countenance, and dismissest him. 21 His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, and he perceiveth it not. 22 But his flesh hath pain for himself alone, and his soul mourneth for himself.