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What Is the Measure of My Days?

1 To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
2 I was mute and silent; I held my peace to no avail, and my distress grew worse.
3 My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:
4 “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!
5 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!
6 Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing1 they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
7 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
11 When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath!
12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.
13 Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!”
1 Hebrew Surely as a breath
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