1 We are all born weak and helpless.
All lead the same short, troubled life.
2We grow and wither as quickly as flowers;
we disappear like shadows.
3Will you even look at me, God,
or put me on trial and judge me?
4Nothing clean can ever come
from anything as unclean as human beings.
5The length of our lives is decided beforehand—
the number of months we will live.
You have settled it, and it can't be changed.
6Look away from us and leave us alone;
let us enjoy our hard life—if we can.
7There is hope for a tree that has been cut down;
it can come back to life and sprout.
8Even though its roots grow old,
and its stump dies in the ground,
9with water it will sprout like a young plant.
10But we die, and that is the end of us;
we die, and where are we then?
11Like rivers that stop running,
and lakes that go dry,
12people die, never to rise.
They will never wake up while the sky endures;
they will never stir from their sleep.
13I wish you would hide me in the world of the dead;
let me be hidden until your anger is over,
and then set a time to remember me.
14If a man dies, can he come back to life?
But I will wait for better times,
wait till this time of trouble is ended.
15Then you will call, and I will answer,
and you will be pleased with me, your creature.
16Then you will watch every step I take,
but you will not keep track of my sins.
17You will forgive them and put them away;
you will wipe out all the wrongs I have done.
18There comes a time when mountains fall
and solid cliffs are moved away.
19Water will wear down rocks,
and heavy rain will wash away the soil;
so you destroy our hope for life.
20You overpower us and send us away forever;
our faces are twisted in death.
21Our children win honor, but we never know it,
nor are we told when they are disgraced.
22We feel only the pain of our own bodies
and the grief of our own minds.