Old Testament

Psalm 39
Psalm 39
Show Me My Life's End
For the choir director. For Jeduthun[]. A psalm by David.
The Psalmist's Anguish
1I said, “I will guard my ways
so that I do not sin with my tongue.
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are confronting me.”
2I said nothing. I kept silent.
I did not even say anything good,
but my pain became worse.
3Inside me my heart grew hot.
As I fretted, the fire burned.
So I spoke with my tongue.
The Shortness of Human Life
4 Lord, help me understand my end.
What is the limit of my days?
Let me know how fleeting I am.
5See, you have cut short my days.[]
My brief time before you is like nothing.
Indeed, every person, even at his best,
is just a puff of air.[] Interlude
6A man flickers like a mirage.
He really has no more effect than a breeze.[]
He piles things up, never knowing who will get them.
The Enduring Goodness of God
7But now what do I wait for, Lord?
My hope is in you.
8Save me from all my rebellious acts.
Do not let fools scorn me.
9I said nothing.
I did not open my mouth,
because you are the one who caused this.
10Stop punching me.
By the attack of your hand I am finished.
11By your rebuke against guilt you discipline a man.
Like a moth you consume what he desires.
Indeed, every person is nothing but a puff of air. Interlude
Closing Prayer
12Hear my prayer, O Lord.
Listen to my cry.
Do not ignore my tears,
for with you I am an alien,
just a visitor, as were all my ancestors.
13Look away from me, so I can smile again
before I depart and am no more.


  • 39:0 For Jeduthun may refer to the director of music to whom David entrusted this psalm. Or, if translated according to Jeduthun, this may refer to a musical style or a melody associated with Jeduthun.
  • 39:5 Literally made them a few handbreadths. A handbreadth is about three or four inches.
  • 39:5 Or a vapor that vanishes
  • 39:6 Or he is all worked up for nothing