Psalm 39:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.

New Living Translation
We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.

English Standard Version
Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

New American Standard Bible
"Surely every man walks about as a phantom; Surely they make an uproar for nothing; He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.

King James Bible
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Certainly, man walks about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they frantically rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them.

International Standard Version
In fact, people walk around as shadows. Surely, they busy themselves for nothing, heaping up possessions but not knowing who will get them.

NET Bible
Surely people go through life as mere ghosts. Surely they accumulate worthless wealth without knowing who will eventually haul it away."

New Heart English Bible
"Surely every man walks like a shadow. Surely they busy themselves in vain. He heaps up, and doesn't know who shall gather.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because a man walks in an image and he fades away like a vapor; he lays down treasures and does not know for whom he gathered them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Each person who walks around is like a shadow. They are busy for no reason. They accumulate riches without knowing who will get them."

JPS Tanakh 1917
Surely man walketh as a mere semblance; Surely for vanity they are in turmoil; He heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

New American Standard 1977
“Surely every man walks about as a phantom;
            Surely they make an uproar for nothing;
            He amasses riches, and does not know who will gather them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Surely man walks in darkness; surely they are disquieted in vain; they heap up riches not knowing who shall gather them.

King James 2000 Bible
Surely every man walks in a vain show: surely they are in turmoil in vain: he heaps up riches, and knows not who shall gather them.

American King James Version
Surely every man walks in a vain show: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heaps up riches, and knows not who shall gather them.

American Standard Version
Surely every man walketh in a vain show; Surely they are disquieted in vain: He heapeth up riches , and knoweth not who shall gather them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Surely man passeth as an image : yea, and he is disquieted in vain. He storeth up : and he knoweth not for whom he shall gather these things.

Darby Bible Translation
Verily, man walketh in a vain show; verily they are disquieted in vain; he heapeth up [riches], and knoweth not who shall gather them.

English Revised Version
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

Webster's Bible Translation
Surely every man walketh in a vain show: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

World English Bible
"Surely every man walks like a shadow. Surely they busy themselves in vain. He heaps up, and doesn't know who shall gather.

Young's Literal Translation
Only, in an image doth each walk habitually, Only, in vain, they are disquieted, He heapeth up and knoweth not who gathereth them.
Study Bible
I will Watch My Ways
5"Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah. 6"Surely every man walks about as a phantom; Surely they make an uproar for nothing; He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them. 7"And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.…
Cross References
Luke 12:20
But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be required of you. Then who will own what you have accumulated?'

1 Corinthians 7:31
and those who use the things of this world, as if not dependent on them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

James 1:10
But the one who is rich should exult in his low position, because he will pass away like a flower of the field.

James 1:11
For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its flower falls and its beauty is lost. So too, the rich man will fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

1 Peter 1:24
For, "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,

Psalm 49:10
For he sees that even wise men die; The stupid and the senseless alike perish And leave their wealth to others.

Psalm 127:2
It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Ecclesiastes 1:2
"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."

Ecclesiastes 2:18
Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me.

Ecclesiastes 2:26
For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.
Treasury of Scripture

Surely every man walks in a vain show: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heaps up riches, and knows not who shall gather them.

a vain whew. [heb.] an image. There is but the semblance of being he appeareth for a little, and then vanisheth

1 Corinthians 7:31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion …

James 4:14 Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your …

surely

Ecclesiastes 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, …

Ecclesiastes 2:17,18,20,21 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is worked under the …

Ecclesiastes 4:7,8 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun…

Ecclesiastes 6:11,12 Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better…

Ecclesiastes 12:8,13 Vanity of vanities, said the preacher; all is vanity…

Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor …

Luke 10:40-42 But Martha was encumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord…

Luke 12:20,21,29 But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required …

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you.

he heapeth

Psalm 49:10,11 For he sees that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish …

Job 27:16,17 Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay…

Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children: and …

Proverbs 23:5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? for riches certainly …

Proverbs 27:24 For riches are not for ever: and does the crown endure to every generation?

Ecclesiastes 2:8,18-21,26 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of …

Ecclesiastes 5:14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begets a son, and …

Luke 12:20,21 But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required …

James 5:3 Your gold and silver is corroded; and the rust of them shall be a …

(6) Surely every man . . .--Better, only as a shadow walks a man. A very commonplace of poetry, from the ????? ???? ???????? of Pindar downwards. Thus Sophocles, "I see that we who live are nothing else but images and vain shadows;" Horace, "Pulvis et umbra sumus; Burke, "What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue."

The above rendering treats the preposition as the beth essenti. If, however, we keep the Authorised Version, the thought is of man's life, not as a reality, but as a show, a picture, a phantasma (see margin), and himself only an imaginary actor. But this seems modern for the psalms. Shakespeare, no doubt with this passage in his mind, has combined it with the more obvious image:--

"Out, out, brief candle,

Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more."

Surely they . . . --Better, Only for a breath they make a stir.

He heapeth up.--The substantive is left by the Hebrew to be supplied. So we talk of the desire of "accumulating." (For the whole passage, comp. James 4:13-14; Luke 12:16-21.)

Verse 6. - Surely every man walketh in a vain show; literally, in an image, or "as an image;" i.e. with a mere semblance of life, but without the reality. Surely they are disquieted in vain. Their restless strivings are to no end, have no result. He heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them (comp. Job 27:16, 17; Ecclesiastes 2:18, 21). Surely every man walketh in a vain show,.... Or "in an image" (z); not "in the image of the Lord", as the Targum; in the image in which God created man, for that is lost; nor in that which is stamped on men in regeneration; for every man does not walk in that; rather in the image of fallen man, in which every man is born and walks: or "in a shadow" (a); or like one; to which the days of man's life are often compared, 1 Chronicles 29:15; and who, for the most part, busies himself in shadowy and imaginary things; agreeably to all which the poet says (b),

"I see that we who live are nothing else but images, and a vain shadow.''

Some (c) interpret it of "the shadow of death"; and others (d) of "darkness" itself; and it fitly expresses the state of unregeneracy and darkness in which every man walks without the grace of God; and which will end in utter darkness, if that does not prevent it; and which is called "a walking in the vanity of the mind", Ephesians 4:17. Here it seems rather to intend the outward show, pomp, and grandeur of every great man; of emperors, kings, princes, nobles, and the great men of the world; which is all a vain show, a glittering appearance for a while, a glory that passeth away, and will not descend after them when laid in the grave, and oftentimes lasts not so long;

surely they are disquieted in vain; about vain things, as riches and honours, which are fickle and unstable; and sometimes in vain are all the carking cares and disquietude of the mind, and toil and labour of the body, which are here referred to, to obtain these things; some rise early, and sit up late, and yet eat the bread of sorrow; and if they gain their point, yet do not find the pleasure and satisfaction in them they promised themselves and expected;

he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them: according to Jarchi, the metaphor seems to be taken from a man that has been ploughing and sowing, and reaping and laying up the increase of the field in heaps, and yet knows not who shall gather it into the barn, seeing he may die before it is gathered in; compare with this Luke 12:16; or the meaning is, when a man has amassed a prodigious deal of wealth together, he knows not who shall enjoy it, whether a son or a servant, a friend or a foe, a good man or a bad man, a wise man or a fool, Ecclesiastes 2:18.

(z) "in imagine", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis. (a) "In umbra", Gejerus; "instar umbrae", Musculus; vid. Hackman. Praecidan. Sacr. tom. 1. p. 82. (b) Sophoclis Ajax, v. 125, 126. (c) Donesh in Jarchi in loc. (d) Jarchi & Kimchi in loc. & R. Jonah in Miclol Yophi in loc. 39:1-6 If an evil thought should arise in the mind, suppress it. Watchfulness in the habit, is the bridle upon the head; watchfulness in acts, is the hand upon the bridle. When not able to separate from wicked men, we should remember they will watch our words, and turn them, if they can, to our disadvantage. Sometimes it may be necessary to keep silence, even from good words; but in general we are wrong when backward to engage in edifying discourse. Impatience is a sin that has its cause within ourselves, and that is, musing; and its ill effects upon ourselves, and that is no less than burning. In our greatest health and prosperity, every man is altogether vanity, he cannot live long; he may die soon. This is an undoubted truth, but we are very unwilling to believe it. Therefore let us pray that God would enlighten our minds by his Holy Spirit, and fill our hearts with his grace, that we may be ready for death every day and hour.
Jump to Previous
Amasses Busy Disquieted Fro Gather Gathereth Great Habitually Heapeth Heaps Image Makes Mere Nought Purpose Riches Semblance Shadow Shew Show Store Surely Themselves Troubled Turmoil Uproar Vain Vanity Verily Walk Walketh Walks Way Wealth
Jump to Next
Amasses Busy Disquieted Fro Gather Gathereth Great Habitually Heapeth Heaps Image Makes Mere Nought Purpose Riches Semblance Shadow Shew Show Store Surely Themselves Troubled Turmoil Uproar Vain Vanity Verily Walk Walketh Walks Way Wealth
Links
Psalm 39:6 NIV
Psalm 39:6 NLT
Psalm 39:6 ESV
Psalm 39:6 NASB
Psalm 39:6 KJV

Psalm 39:6 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 39:6 Chinese Bible
Psalm 39:6 French Bible
Psalm 39:6 German Bible

Alphabetical: a about amasses an and as bustles but does every for fro gather get goes he heaps in is it know knowing make Man mere not nothing only phantom riches Surely them they to up uproar vain walks wealth who will

OT Poetry: Psalm 39:6 Surely every man walks like a shadow (Psalm Ps Psa.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Psalm 39:5
Top of Page
Top of Page