I said, “I will take heed to my ways, *
that I may not offend with my tongue.
I will keep my mouth as with a bridle *
while the ungodly are in my sight.”
I held my tongue and spoke nothing; *
I kept silence, even from good words; but it was pain and grief to me.
My heart was hot within me, and while I was thus pondering the fire kindled, *
and at the last I spoke with my tongue:
“Lord, let me know my end and the number of my days, *
that I may learn how short my life is.
Behold, you have made my days as a span in length, *
and my age is even as nothing before you; and truly everyone living is but a breath.
For everyone walks about as a shadow, and disquiets himself in vain; *
he heaps up riches and cannot tell who shall gather them.
And now, Lord, what is my hope? *
Truly, my hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my offences, *
and make me not a taunt of the foolish.
I became mute and opened not my mouth, *
for it was you that brought it to pass.
Take your affliction from me; *
I am consumed by the blows of your heavy hand.
When you, with rebukes, chasten someone for sin, you consume what is dear to him, like a moth eating a garment; *
everyone therefore is but vanity.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with your ears consider my cry; *
hold not your peace at my tears.
For I am a stranger with you, *
and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
O turn your gaze from me, that I may again be glad, *
before I go away to be seen no more.”
Beatus qui intelligit
Blessed is the one who considers the poor and needy; *
the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble.
The Lord preserves him and keeps him alive, that he may be blessed upon earth, *
and delivers him not over to the will of his enemies.
The Lord comforts him when he lies sick upon his bed, *
and restores him from his bed of sickness.
I said, “Lord, be merciful to me; *
heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies speak evil of me: *
“When shall he die, and his name perish?”
And if anyone comes to see me, he speaks empty words; *
his heart conceives falsehood within him, and when he goes forth, he tells it.
All my enemies whisper together against me; *
even against me are they devising evil:
“A deadly thing has taken hold of him, *
and now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.”
Indeed, even my own familiar friend, whom I trusted, who also ate of my bread, *
has lifted up his heel against me.
But be merciful to me, O Lord; *
raise me up again, and I shall repay them.
By this I know you favor me, *
that my enemy does not triumph over me.
And when I am in health, you uphold me *
and shall set me before your face for ever.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; *
world without end. Amen.