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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 39

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The Vanity of Life

1For the leader, for Jeduthun. i 1 Chr 16, 41; Pss 62, 1; 77, 1 .

A psalm of David.

I

2I said, “I will watch my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will set a curb on my mouth.” 3Dumb and silent before the wicked, I refrained from any speech. But my sorrow increased; 4my heart smoldered within me. j Jer 20, 9 . In my thoughts a fire blazed up, and I broke into speech:

II

5 LORD, let me know my end, the number of my days, that I may learn how frail I am. 6You have given my days a very short span; my life is as nothing before you. All mortals are but a breath. k Pss 62, 10; 90, 9–10; 144, 4; Jb 7, 6. 16; 14, 1. 5; Eccl 6, 12; WIs 2, 5 .   Selah 7Mere phantoms, we go our way; mere vapor, our restless pursuits; we heap up stores without knowing for whom. 8And now, Lord, what future do I have? You are my only hope. 9From all my sins deliver me; let me not be the taunt of fools.

III

10I was silent and did not open my mouth because you were the one who did this. 11Take your plague away from me; I am ravaged by the touch of your hand. 12You rebuke our guilt and chasten us; you dissolve all we prize like a cobweb. All mortals are but a breath.   Selah 13Listen to my prayer, LORD, hear my cry; do not be deaf to my weeping! I sojourn with you like a passing stranger, a guest, like all my ancestors. l Ps 119, 19; Gn 23, 4; Heb 11, 13; 1 Pt 2, 11 . 14Turn your gaze from me, that I may find peace before I depart to be no more.

Notes:

i: 1 Chr 16, 41; Pss 62, 1; 77, 1 .

j: Jer 20, 9 .

k: Pss 62, 10; 90, 9–10; 144, 4; Jb 7, 6. 16; 14, 1. 5; Eccl 6, 12; WIs 2, 5 .

l: Ps 119, 19; Gn 23, 4; Heb 11, 13; 1 Pt 2, 11 .

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