X2 Y 1-3. Silent meditation. Z 4. Speech. Prayer. A 5-. The fading life. "I". B -5,6. Vanity of man. Selah. C D w 7-. Departure. x -7. Hope in You. E y 8-. Supplication. z -8. Deprecation. Y 9. Silent meditation. Z 10-. Speech. Prayer. A -10. The fading of beauty. "I". B 11. Vanity of man. Selah. C E y 12-. Supplication. z -12-. Deprecation. D x -12. Hope in You. w 13. Departure.
(The Psalm is a continuation of the subject of this last group of 4 Psalms. Verses 2 and 9 link it on to 38:13; and v.1 to 38:17. See note on title of Ps. 38.)
1 I formed this resolution, I will observe (or keep, guard) my ways,
That I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep my mouth with a muzzle,
While a lawless one is before me.
2 I was dumb (as if tongue-tied) with silence, I held my peace, even from good [words];
And my sorrow was stirred.
3 My heart was hot within me,
While I was musing the fire burned:
Then spoke I with my tongue,
4 LORD, make me to know my end,
And the measure of my days, what it is:
That I may know how short-lived I am.
5 Behold, You have made my days as an hand-breadth;
And my lifetime is as nothing before you:
Verily every man at though standing fast (or firmly established) is only all vanity. Selah.(Connecting the vanity of v.5 with the expansion and explanation of it in v.6.)
6 Surely every man walks (i.e. habitually) only in a mere form:
Surely they are disquieted in vain:
He heaps up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
7 And now, Lord, what wait I for?
My hope is in You.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions:
Because You did it.
10 Remove Your stroke away from me:
I am consumed by the pressure of Your hand.
11 When You with rebukes do correct man for iniquity,
You make his beauty to consume away like a moth:
surely every man is vanity. Selah.(Connecting human vanity with an abiding reality and a divinely provided resource - prayer, and hope in Yehovah.)
12 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry;
Hold not Your peace at my tears:
For I am a stranger with You,
And a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
13 O spare me, that I may be comforted,
Before I go hence, and be no more.