1a human being, born of woman, whose life is short but ful of trouble. 2Like a flower, such a one blossoms and withers, fleeting as a shadow, transient. 3And this is the creature on whom you fix your gaze, and bring to judgement before you! 4But will anyone produce the pure from what is impure? No one can! 5Since his days are measured out, since his tale of months depends on you, since you assign himbounds he cannot pass, 6turn your eyes from him, leave him alone, like a hired labourer, to finish his day in peace. 7There is always hope for a tree: when fel ed, it can start its life again; its shoots continue to sprout. 8Its roots may have grown old in the earth, its stump rotting in the ground, 9but let it scent the water, and it buds, and puts out branches like a plant newly set. 10But a human being? He dies, and dead he remains, breathes his last, and then where is he? 11The waters of the sea wil vanish, the rivers stop flowing and run dry: 12a human being, once laid to rest, will never rise again, the heavens wil wear out before he wakes up,or before he is roused from his sleep. 13Will no one hide me in Sheol, and shelter me there til your anger is past, fixing a certain day forcal ing me to mind- 14can the dead come back to life? - day after day of my service, I should be waiting for my relief tocome. 15Then you would cal , and I should answer, you would want to see once more what you have made. 16Whereas now you count every step I take, you would then stop spying on my sin; 17you would seal up my crime in a bag, and put a cover over my fault. 18Alas! Just as, eventual y, the mountain fal s down, the rock moves from its place, 19water wears away the stones, the cloudburst erodes the soil; so you destroy whatever hope a personhas. 20You crush him once for al , and he is gone; first you disfigure him, then you dismiss him. 21His children may rise to honours -- he does not know it; they may come down in the world -- he doesnot care. 22He feels no pangs, except for his own body, makes no lament, except for his own self.
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