Ecclesiastes 3:18
New International Version
I also said to myself, "As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.

New Living Translation
I also thought about the human condition—how God proves to people that they are like animals.

English Standard Version
I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.

Berean Study Bible
I said to myself, “As for the sons of men, God tests them so that they may see for themselves that they are but beasts.”

New American Standard Bible
I said to myself concerning the sons of men, "God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts."

New King James Version
I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.”

King James Bible
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

Christian Standard Bible
I said to myself, "This happens so that God may test the children of Adam and they may see for themselves that they are like animals."

Contemporary English Version
I know God is testing us to show us that we are merely animals.

Good News Translation
I decided that God is testing us, to show us that we are no better than animals.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I said to myself, "This happens concerning people, so that God may test them and they may see for themselves that they are like animals."

International Standard Version
"As for human beings," I told myself, "God puts them to the test, that they might see themselves as mere animals."

NET Bible
I also thought to myself, "It is for the sake of people, so God can clearly show them that they are like animals.

New Heart English Bible
I said in my heart, "As for the sons of men, God tests them, so that they may see that they themselves are like animals.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I thought to myself, "God is going to test humans in order to show them that they are [like] animals."

JPS Tanakh 1917
I said in my heart: 'It is because of the sons of men, that God may sift them, and that they may see that they themselves are but as beasts.'

New American Standard 1977
I said to myself concerning the sons of men, “God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sons of men that God might manifest them and that they might see that they themselves are beasts one to another.

King James 2000 Bible
I said in my heart concerning the condition of the sons of men, that God might reveal them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

American King James Version
I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

American Standard Version
I said in my heart, It is because of the sons of men, that God may prove them, and that they may see that they themselves are but as beasts.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
I said in my heart, concerning the speech of the sons of man, God will judge them, and that to shew that they are breasts.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, that God would prove them, and shew them to be like beasts.

Darby Bible Translation
I said in my heart, It is thus with the children of men, that God may prove them, and that they should see that they themselves are but beasts.

English Revised Version
I said in mine heart, It is because of the sons of men, that God may prove them, and that they may see that they themselves are but as beasts.

Webster's Bible Translation
I said in my heart concerning the state of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

World English Bible
I said in my heart, "As for the sons of men, God tests them, so that they may see that they themselves are like animals.

Young's Literal Translation
I said in my heart concerning the matter of the sons of man that God might cleanse them, so as to see that they themselves are beasts.
Study Bible
From Dust to Dust
17I said in my heart, “God will judge the righteous and the wicked, since there is a time for every activity and every deed.” 18I said to myself, “As for the sons of men, God tests them so that they may see for themselves that they are but beasts.” 19For the fates of both men and beasts are the same: As one dies, so dies the other—they all have the same breath. Man has no advantage over the animals, since everything is futile.…
Cross References
Psalm 49:12
But a man, despite his wealth, cannot endure; he is like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:20
A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 73:22
I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before You.

Treasury of Scripture

I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

concerning

Genesis 3:17-19
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; …

Job 14:1-4
Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble…

Job 15:16
How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

that God

Job 40:8
Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

Psalm 51:4
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Romans 3:4
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

and that

Psalm 73:22
So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

2 Peter 2:12
But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;







Lexicon
I
אֲנִי֙ (’ă·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 589: I

said
אָמַ֤רְתִּֽי (’ā·mar·tî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

to myself,
בְּלִבִּ֔י (bə·lib·bî)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 3820: The heart, the feelings, the will, the intellect, centre

“As for
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

the sons
בְּנֵ֣י (bə·nê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 1121: A son

of men,
הָאָדָ֔ם (hā·’ā·ḏām)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 120: Ruddy, a human being

God
הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים (hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

tests them
לְבָרָ֖ם (lə·ḇā·rām)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1305: To clarify, examine, select

so that they may see
וְלִרְא֕וֹת (wə·lir·’ō·wṯ)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

for themselves
שְׁהֶם־ (šə·hem-)
Pronoun - relative | Pronoun - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1992: They

that they
הֵ֖מָּה (hêm·māh)
Pronoun - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1992: They

are but beasts.”
בְּהֵמָ֥ה (bə·hê·māh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 929: A dumb beast, any large quadruped, animal
Verse 18. - The comfort derived from the thought of the future judgment is clouded by the reflection that man is as powerless as the beast to control his destiny. Concerning the estate of the sons of men; rather, it happens on account of the sons of men. God allows events to take place, disorders to continue, etc., for the ultimate profit of men, though the idea that follows is humiliating and dispiriting. The LXX. has περὶ λαλιᾶς, "concerning the speech of the sons of men." So the Syriac. The word dibrah may indeed bear that meaning, as it is also used for "word" or "matter;" but we cannot conceive that the clause refers solely to words, and the expression in the text signifies merely "for the sake, on account of," as in Ecclesiastes 8:2. That God might manifest them; rather, that God might test them; Ut probaret eos Dens (Vulgate). God allows these things, endures them patiently, and does not at once redress them, for two reasons. The first of these is that they may serve for the probation of men, giving them opportunity of making good or bad use of them. We see the effect of this forbearance on the wicked in Ecclesiastes 8:11; it hardens them in impenitence; while it nourishes the faith of the righteous, and helps them to persevere (see Daniel 11:35 and Revelation 22:11). And that they might see that they themselves are beasts. The pronoun is repeated emphatically, "that they themselves are [like] beasts, they in themselves." This is the second reason. Thus they learn their own powerlessness, if they regard merely their own animal life; apart from their relation to God and hope of the future, they are no better than the lower creatures. Septuagint. "And to show (τοῦ δεῖξαι) that they are beasts." So the Vulgate and Syriac. The Masoretic reading adopted in the Anglican Version seems best. 3:16-22 Without the fear of the Lord, man is but vanity; set that aside, and judges will not use their power well. And there is another Judge that stands before the door. With God there is a time for the redressing of grievances, though as yet we see it not. Solomon seems to express his wish that men might perceive, that by choosing this world as their portion, they brought themselves to a level with the beasts, without being free, as they are, from present vexations and a future account. Both return to the dust from whence they were taken. What little reason have we to be proud of our bodies, or bodily accomplishments! But as none can fully comprehend, so few consider properly, the difference between the rational soul of man, and the spirit or life of the beast. The spirit of man goes upward, to be judged, and is then fixed in an unchangeable state of happiness or misery. It is as certain that the spirit of the beast goes downward to the earth; it perishes at death. Surely their case is lamentable, the height of whose hopes and wishes is, that they may die like beasts. Let our inquiry be, how an eternity of existence may be to us an eternity of enjoyment? To answer this, is the grand design of revelation. Jesus is revealed as the Son of God, and the Hope of sinners.
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