Chapter 14

1Man, born of woman, short of days and full of fear.   אאָדָם יְל֣וּד אִשָּׁ֑ה קְצַ֥ר יָ֜מִ֗ים וּֽשְׂבַ֣ע־רֹֽגֶז:
2As a blossom, he emerges and is cut off; he flees like a shadow and does not stand.   בכְּצִ֣יץ יָ֖צָא וַיִּמָּ֑ל וַיִּבְרַ֥ח כַּ֜צֵּ֗ל וְלֹ֣א יַֽעֲמֽוֹד:
3Do You open Your eyes also on this one and bring me into judgment with You?   גאַף־עַל־זֶ֖ה פָּקַ֣חְתָּ עֵינֶ֑ךָ וְאֹ֘תִ֚י תָבִ֖יא בְמִשְׁפָּ֣ט עִמָּֽךְ:
also on this one: [creature of] futility that decays have You opened Your eyes to be exact with his sins, and You bring me into judgment for my iniquities?  
4Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean one? Not one.   דמִֽי־יִתֵּ֣ן טָ֖הוֹר מִטָּמֵ֗א לֹ֣א אֶחָֽד:
Who can bring a clean thing: from a putrid drop, and semen, which is unclean? Not one of them is clean, that he should not sin.  
5If his days are limited, and the number of his months is with You, You set his bounds and he cannot cross.   האִ֥ם חֲרוּצִ֨ים | יָמָ֗יו מִֽסְפַּר־חֳדָשָׁ֥יו אִתָּ֑ךְ חֻקָּ֥יו (כתיב חֻקָּ֥ו) עָ֜שִׂ֗יתָ וְלֹ֣א יַֽעֲבֹֽר:
If his days are limited: If he is requited with this recompense-that his days are limited to a day set for death, and the number of months is set with You, and [that] You set this boundary-and he will no longer exist in the world, [then] this payment is sufficient for You.  
6Turn away from him that he may rest, until, like a hireling, he desires his day.   ושְׁעֵ֣ה מֵעָלָ֣יו וְיֶחְדָּ֑ל עַד־יִ֜רְצֶ֗ה כְּשָׂכִ֥יר יוֹמֽוֹ:
Turn away from him: during those few limited days and let him rest from pain until he desires, in his old age and the weakness of his strength, the day of his death like a hireling who desires the completion of his day’s work; for his passing from the world is decided and more definite than all passings.  
7For a tree has hope; if it is cut it will again renew itself, and its bough will not cease.   זכִּ֚י יֵ֥שׁ לָעֵ֗ץ תִּ֫קְוָ֥ה אִֽם־יִ֖כָּרֵת וְע֣וֹד יַֽחֲלִ֑יף וְ֜יֹֽנַקְתּ֗וֹ לֹ֣א תֶחְדָּֽל:
a tree has: This [tree] has hope that it will renew itself and its bough will not cease from being a branch.  
8If its root ages in the earth, and in the dust its trunk dies,   חאִם־יַזְקִ֣ין בָּאָ֣רֶץ שָׁרְשׁ֑וֹ וּ֜בֶֽעָפָ֗ר יָמ֥וּת גִּזְעֽוֹ:
9from the smell of water it will blossom, and it will produce a branch like a sapling.   טמֵרֵ֣יחַ מַ֣יִם יַפְרִ֑חַ וְעָשָׂ֖ה קָצִ֣יר כְּמוֹ־נָֽטַע:
and it will produce a branch: Heb. קציר. This is a branch, as (Ps. 80:12), “She sent out her boughs (קצירה) to the sea.”  
a sapling: Heb. נטע. This is a noun. It is accented on the first syllable, and is punctuated completely with a “kamatz” because it is the end of the verse, but it is derived from נֶטַע, a sapling.  
10But a man will die and he is weakened; man perishes and where is he?   יוְגֶ֣בֶר יָ֖מוּת וַיֶּֽחֱלָ֑שׁ וַיִּגְוַ֖ע אָדָ֣ם וְאַיּֽוֹ:
11As the waters fail from the sea, and the river is drained dry.   יאאָֽזְלוּ־מַ֖יִם מִנִּי־יָ֑ם וְ֜נָהָ֗ר יֶֽחֱרַ֥ב וְיָבֵֽשׁ:
As the waters fail from the sea: From the place whence the river comes and emerges, from its source that comes to it from the sea. [Alternative explanation of Rashi: From the place whence the river comes, and they went away from its source (from) which (the water) comes to it.]  
and the river: that comes from there is drained dry forever. So does a man lie down and not rise.  
12So does a man lie down and not rise; until the heavens are no more, they will not awaken, nor will they be aroused from their sleep.   יבוְאִ֥ישׁ שָׁכַ֗ב וְֽלֹא־יָ֫ק֥וּם עַד־בִּלְתִּ֣י שָׁ֖מַיִם לֹ֣א יָקִ֑יצוּ וְלֹ֥א יֵעֹ֜֗רוּ מִשְּׁנָתָֽם:
13Would that You hide me in the grave, that You would keep me secret, until Your wrath has subsided; give me a set time and remember me.   יגמִ֚י יִתֵּ֨ן | בִּשְׁא֬וֹל תַּצְפִּנֵ֗נִי תַּ֖סְתִּירֵנִי עַד־שׁ֣וּב אַפֶּ֑ךָ תָּ֚שִֽׁית לִ֖י חֹ֣ק וְתִזְכְּרֵֽנִי:
14If a man dies, will he live? All the days of my lifespan, I will hope, until the coming of my passing.   ידאִם־יָמ֥וּת גֶּ֗בֶר הֲיִ֫חְיֶ֥ה כָּל־יְמֵ֣י צְבָאִ֣י אֲיַחֵ֑ל עַד־בּ֜וֹ֗א חֲלִיפָתִֽי:
All the days of my lifespan, I will hope: for life.  
15Call and I will answer You; You desire the work of Your hands.   טותִּקְרָא וְאָֽנֹכִ֣י אֶֽעֱנֶ֑ךָּ לְֽמַֽעֲשֵׂ֖ה יָדֶ֣יךָ תִכְסֹֽף:
Call: This is a supplication. Call to me and I will answer you to prove my case.  
You desire: Heb. תִכְסֹף, You desire.  
16But now, You count my steps; You do not wait for my sin.   טזכִּֽי־עַ֖תָּה צְעָדַ֣י תִּסְפּ֑וֹר לֹֽא־תִ֜שְׁמ֗וֹר עַל־חַטָּאתִֽי:
But now: You are harming me.  
my steps: You are counting.  
You do not wait: Heb. תשמר. You do not wait for my sin to requite me, as (Gen. 37:11), “but his father awaited (שמר) the matter,” and in the language of the Mishnah (Sanh. 63b): “A person may not say to his companion, ‘Wait (שמר) for me beside such and such a pagan deity.’” [It is] an expression of waiting.  
17My transgression is sealed up in a bundle, and You have attached Yourself to my iniquity.   יזחָתֻ֣ם בִּצְר֣וֹר פִּשְׁעִ֑י וַ֜תִּטְפֹּ֗ל עַל־עֲו‍ֹנִֽי:
sealed up in a bundle: Sealed and preserved in a cloth bundle like silver and pearls, lest it be lost.  
and You have attached Yourself to my iniquity: Heb. ותטפל, You have attached Yourself to my iniquity.  
18And surely the falling mountain gives forth produce and the rock that moves from its place.   יחוְאוּלָם הַר־נוֹפֵ֣ל יִבּ֑וֹל וְ֜צ֗וּר יֶעְתַּ֥ק מִמְּקֹמֽוֹ:
And surely the falling mountain gives forth produce: The height of a falling mountain will give forth produce. It will produce dust, and there will be hope of deriving benefit from it.  
and the rock: that moves from its place will also give forth produce. This is an expression of grain.  
19Stones [which] the water eroded; it washes away into dust its aftergrowth, but the hope of man You have destroyed.   יטאֲבָנִ֚ים | שָֽׁ֥חֲקוּ מַ֗יִם תִּשְׁטֹֽף־סְפִיחֶ֥יהָ עֲפַר־אָ֑רֶץ וְתִקְוַ֖ת אֱנ֣וֹשׁ הֶֽאֱבָֽדְתָּ:
Stones: which  
the water eroded: by constantly passing over them.  
it washes away: i.e., the flood.  
its aftergrowth: of the stone, to be transformed into dust so that something should grow in it. As the aftergrowths of the harvest grow, so will the aftergrowths of this earth be transformed to stone.  
but the hope of man: is not so, because as soon as he dies, it is lost forever.  
20You overpower him to eternity and he goes away, [You] change his countenance and You send him away.   כתִּתְקְפֵ֣הוּ לָ֖נֶצַח וַיַּֽהֲלֹ֑ךְ מְשַׁנֶּ֥ה פָ֜נָ֗יו וַתְּשַׁלְּחֵֽהוּ:
You overpower him: You are stronger than he; You overcome him with Your power, and he goes away from the world.  
21His sons become wealthy but he does not know it; and they become poor but he does not understand.   כאיִכְבְּד֣וּ בָ֖נָיו וְלֹ֣א יֵדָ֑ע וְ֜יִצְעֲר֗וּ וְלֹֽא־יָבִ֥ין לָֽמוֹ:
become wealthy: Heb. יכבדו, lit. they will become heavy. They will become heavy with silver and gold, but he will not know.  
and they become poor: And they have little of any good, but he will not understand it.  
22But his flesh causes him pain, and his soul mourns for him."   כבאַךְ־בְּ֖שָׂרוֹ עָלָ֣יו יִכְאָ֑ב וְ֜נַפְשׁ֗וֹ עָלָ֥יו תֶּֽאֱבָֽל:
But his flesh causes him pain: A worm is as painful to the dead as a needle in the flesh of the living.