Man born of woman

is short of days and full of trouble.

He blossoms like a flower, then withers;

he flees like a shadow and does not last.

Do You really take notice of one like this?

Will You bring me into judgment against You?[a]

Who can produce something pure from what is impure?

No one!

Since man’s days are determined

and the number of his months depends on You,

and since You have set[b] limits he cannot pass,

look away from him and let him rest

so that he can enjoy his day like a hired hand.

There is hope for a tree:

If it is cut down, it will sprout again,

and its shoots will not die.

If its roots grow old in the ground

and its stump starts to die in the soil,

the smell of water makes it thrive

and produce twigs like a sapling.

10 But a man dies and fades away;

he breathes his last—where is he?

11 As water disappears from the sea

and a river becomes parched and dry,

12 so man lies down never to rise again.

They will not wake up until the heavens are no more;

they will not stir from their sleep.

13 If only You would hide me in Sheol

and conceal me until Your anger passes.

If only You would appoint a time for me

and then remember me.

14 When a man dies, will he come back to life?

If so, I would wait all the days of my struggle

until my relief comes.

15 You would call, and I would answer You.

You would long for the work of Your hands.

16 For then You would count my steps

but would not take note of my sin.

17 My rebellion would be sealed up in a bag,

and You would cover over my iniquity.

18 But as a mountain collapses and crumbles

and a rock is dislodged from its place,

19 as water wears away stones

and torrents wash away the soil from the land,

so You destroy a man’s hope.

20 You completely overpower him, and he passes on;

You change his appearance and send him away.

21 If his sons receive honor, he does not know it;

if they become insignificant, he is unaware of it.

22 He feels only the pain of his own body

and mourns only for himself.


  1. Job 14:3 LXX, Syr, Vg read him
  2. Job 14:5 Lit set his