"Man born of woman
is of few days and full of trouble.
He springs up like a flower and withers away;
like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.
Do you fix your eye on such a one?
Will you bring him before you for judgment?
Who can bring what is pure from the impure?
Man's days are determined;
you have decreed the number of his months
and have set limits he cannot exceed.
So look away from him and let him alone,
till he has put in his time like a hired man.
"At least there is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
Its roots may grow old in the ground
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth shoots like a plant.
But man dies and is laid low;
he breathes his last and is no more.
As water disappears from the sea
or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
so man lies down and does not rise;
till the heavens are no more, men will not awake
or be roused from their sleep.
"If only you would hide me in the grave
and conceal me till your anger has passed!
If only you would set me a time
and then remember me!
If a man dies, will he live again?
All the days of my hard service
I will wait for my renewal to come.