2 Like a flower he came out and wilted,
fled away like a shadow and does not stand.
4 Who shall produce a clean thing out of unclean?
5 If his time is decided,
you have his number of months,
you have drawn his bounds and he is not to go beyond,
7 For there is hope for a tree:
if it is cut down, it starts again,
and its shoot will not fail to come;
8 If its root grows old in the ground
and its trunk dies in the soil,
9 At the scent of water it will sprout
and make a twig like a young tree newly set.
10 But a man dies and lies lifeless;
a human being breathes his last, and where is he?
11 Water goes away from a sea
and a river dries off and out,
12 And a man lies down and will not get up;
till the sky wears out they will not wake
nor rouse from their sleep.
13 O that you would stow me away in the world below,
screen me till your anger turned back,
fix a date for me and remember me!
14 If a man dies will he come to life?
I would wait all the time I had to serve
till my relief came;
15 You would call and I would answer you;
you would have a yearning for the work of your hands.
16 For then you would be counting my steps,
not watching for my sin,
17 My crime would be packed up under seal,
and you would whitewash my guilt.
18 “But a mountain tumbles down, wears out,
and a rock shifts from its place;
19 Water pulverizes stones;
a cloudburst washes away soil;
and you have crushed man’s hope.
20 You force him permanently out, and he goes;
you change his face and turn him off.
21 His sons rise to honor and he does not know it,
or sink into insignificance and he does not find out about them;
22 Only his flesh feels pain upon himself
and his soul is mournful over himself.”