Job Muses on the Brevity of Life
14 1 "A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble, 2 comes up like a flower and withers, flees like a shadow and does not last. 3 Do you fix your eyes on such a one? Do you bring me into judgment with you? 4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one can. 5 Since their days are determined, and the number of their months is known to you, and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass, 6 look away from them, and desist, that they may enjoy, like laborers, their days.
7 "For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. 8 Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stump dies in the ground, 9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant. 10 But mortals die, and are laid low; humans expire, and where are they? 11 As waters fail from a lake, and a river wastes away and dries up, 12 so mortals lie down and do not rise again; until the heavens are no more, they will not awake or be roused out of their sleep. 13 O that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If mortals die, will they live again? All the days of my service I would wait until my release should come. 15 You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands.
16 For then you would not number my steps, you would not keep watch over my sin; 17 my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and you would cover over my iniquity. 18 "But the mountain falls and crumbles away, and the rock is removed from its place; 19 the waters wear away the stones; the torrents wash away the soil of the earth; so you destroy the hope of mortals. 20 You prevail forever against them, and they pass away; you change their countenance, and send them away. 21 Their children come to honor, and they do not know it; they are brought low, and it goes unnoticed. 22 They feel only the pain of their own bodies, and mourn only for themselves."