For today's PsalmChallenge at Daily Athens, here is the dark Psalm 39.
To the leader: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
1 I said, ‘I will guard my ways
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence.’
2 I was silent and still;
I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
3 my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
4 ‘Lord, let me know my end,
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath.
6 Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
they heap up, and do not know who will gather.
7 ‘And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool.
9 I am silent; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me;
I am worn down by the blows of your hand.
11 ‘You chastise mortals in punishment for sin,
consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
surely everyone is a mere breath.
12 ‘Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry;
do not be deaf at my tears;
The psalm in Hebrew, with commentary, is here.
1. Ancient and new graves, Tiberias cemetery
2. "Homo sapiens" at the Australian Museum, Sydney
3. Dean at the same moth and butterfly exhibit