Psalm 39
New American Bible Revised Edition

Psalm 39*

The Vanity of Life

1For the leader, for Jeduthun.a A psalm of David.


2I said, “I will watch my ways,

lest I sin with my tongue;

I will keep a muzzle on my mouth.”

3Mute and silent before the wicked,

I refrain from good things.

But my sorrow increases;

4my heart smolders within me.b

In my sighing a fire blazes up,

and I break into speech:


5Lord, let me know my end, the number of my days,

that I may learn how frail I am.

6To be sure, you establish the expanse of my days;

indeed, my life is as nothing before you.

Every man is but a breath.c



7Man goes about as a mere phantom;

they hurry about, although in vain;

he heaps up stores without knowing for whom.

8And now, Lord, for what do I wait?

You are my only hope.

9From all my sins deliver me;

let me not be the taunt of fools.

10I am silent and do not open my mouth

because you are the one who did this.

11Take your plague away from me;

I am ravaged by the touch of your hand.

12You chastise man with rebukes for sin;

like a moth you consume his treasures.

Every man is but a breath.


13Listen to my prayer, Lord, hear my cry;

do not be deaf to my weeping!

For I am with you like a foreigner,

a refugee, like my ancestors.d

14Turn your gaze from me, that I may smile

before I depart to be no more.

Book Introduction


Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Bible Hub

Psalm 38
Top of Page
Top of Page