Psalm 39

The Futility of Life.

For the music director, for [a]Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

39 I said, “I will keep watch over my ways
So that I do not sin with my tongue;
I will keep watch over my mouth as with a muzzle
While the wicked are in my presence.”
I was mute [b]and silent,
I [c]refused to say even something good,
And my pain was stirred up.
My heart was hot within me,
While I was musing the fire burned;
Then I spoke with my tongue:
Lord, let me know my end,
And what is the extent of my days;
Let me know how transient I am.
Behold, You have made my days like [d]hand widths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Certainly all mankind standing is [e]a mere breath. Selah
Certainly every person walks around as [f]a fleeting shadow;
They certainly make an uproar for nothing;
He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in You.
Save me from all my wrongdoings;
Do not make me an object of reproach for the foolish.
I have become mute, I do not open my mouth,
Because it is You who have done it.
10 Remove Your plague from me;
Because of the opposition of Your hand I am [g]perishing.
11 With rebukes You punish a person for wrongdoing;
You consume like a moth what is precious to him;
Certainly all mankind is mere breath! Selah

12 “Hear my prayer, Lord, and listen to my cry for help;
Do not be silent to my tears;
For I am a stranger with You,
One who lives abroad, like all my fathers.
13 Turn Your eyes away from me, that I may become cheerful again
Before I depart and am no more.”


  1. Psalm 39 Title 1 Chr 16:41
  2. Psalm 39:2 Lit with silence
  3. Psalm 39:2 Lit was silent from good
  4. Psalm 39:5 I.e., short
  5. Psalm 39:5 Or altogether breath
  6. Psalm 39:6 Lit an image
  7. Psalm 39:10 Or wasting away