1. Man born of woman has a short life full of sorrow.
2. Like a flower he blossoms and withers; transient and fleeting as a shadow.
3. Is he the one you look on and bring before you for judgment?
4. Who can bring the clean from the unclean? No one!
5. Since his days are measured and you have decreed the number of his months, set him bounds he cannot pass,
6. then leave him alone. Turn away from him till he completes his day like a hireling.
7. There is hope for a tree: if cut down it will sprout again, its new shoots will still appear.
8. Though its roots grow old in the ground and its stump withers in the soil,
9. at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a young plant.
10. But when man is cut down, he comes undone; he breathes his last - where will he be?
11. The waters of the sea may disappear, rivers drain away,
12. but the one who lies down will not rise again; the heavens will vanish before he wakes, before he rises from his sleep.
13. If only you would hide me in the grave and shelter me till your wrath is past! If only you would set a time for me and then remember me!
14. Will a man live again if he dies? All the days of my service I would wait for my release.
15. You would call and I would answer; you would long for the work of your hands again.
16. Now you watch my every step, but then you would stop counting my sins.
17. My offenses would be sealed in a bag, and you would do away with my guilt.
18. But as mountains erode and crumble, as rock is moved from its place,
19. as waters wear away stones and floods wash away the soil, so you destroy the hope of man.
20. You crush him once for all, and he is gone; you change his appearance and send him away.
21. If his sons are honored, he does not know it; if brought low, he does not see it.
22. Only the pain of his own body does he feel; only for himself does he mourn.