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I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I offend not in my tongue. I will keep my mouth as it were with a bridle, while the ungodly is in my sight. I held my tongue, and spoke nothing. I kept silence, yea, even from good words; but it was pain and grief to me. My heart was hot within me, and while I was thus musing, the fire kindled, and at the last I spoke with my tongue: Lord, let me know mine end, and the number of my days, that I may be certified how long I have to live.

Behold, thou hast made my days as it were a span long, and mine age is even as nothing in respect of thee; and verily every man living is altogether vanity. For man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain; he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.

And now, Lord, what is my hope? Truly my hope is even in thee. Deliver me from all mine offences; and make me not a rebuke unto the foolish. I became dumb, and opened not my mouth; for it was thy doing. Take thy plague away from me; I am even consumed by the means of thy heavy hand. When thou with rebukes dost chasten man for sin, thou makest his beauty to consume away, like as it were a moth fretting a garment; every man therefore is but vanity.

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with thine ears consider my calling; hold not thy peace at my tears. For I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength, before I go hence, and be no more seen.

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The Coverdale translation edited by W. S. Peterson and Valerie Macys — used with permission.