New English Translation
The Brevity of Life
1 "Man, born of woman, lives but a few days, and they are full of trouble.
2 He grows up like a flower and then withers away; he flees like a shadow, and does not remain.
3 Do you fix your eye on such a one? And do you bring me before you for judgment?
4 Who can make a clean thing come from an unclean? No one!
5 Since man's days are determined, the number of his months is under your control; you have set his limit and he cannot pass it.
6 Look away from him and let him desist, until he fulfills his time like a hired man.
The Inevitability of Death
7 "But there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Although its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump begins to die in the soil,
9 at the scent of water it will flourish and put forth shoots like a new plant.
10 But man dies and is powerless; he expires - and where is he?
11 As water disappears from the sea, or a river drains away and dries up,
12 so man lies down and does not rise; until the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor arise from their sleep.
The Possibility of Another Life
13 "O that you would hide me in Sheol, and conceal me till your anger has passed! O that you would set me a time and then remember me!
14 If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait until my release comes.
15 You will call and I - I will answer you; you will long for the creature you have made.
The Present Condition
16 "Surely now you count my steps; then you would not mark my sin.
17 My offenses would be sealed up in a bag; you would cover over my sin.
18 But as a mountain falls away and crumbles, and as a rock will be removed from its place,
19 as water wears away stones, and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy man's hope.
20 You overpower him once for all, and he departs; you change his appearance and send him away.
21 If his sons are honored, he does not know it; if they are brought low, he does not see it.
22 Only his flesh has pain for himself, and he mourns for himself."
King James Version
1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
3 And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee?
4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
6 Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day.
7 For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?
11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up:
12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
16 For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin?
17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity.
18 And surely the mountain falling cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of his place.
19 The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man.
20 Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.
21 His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.
22 But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.