Psalm 90:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!”

King James Bible
Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

American Standard Version
Thou turnest man to destruction, And sayest, Return, ye children of men.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Turn not man away to be brought low: and thou hast said: Be converted, O ye sons of men.

English Revised Version
Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

Psalm 90:3 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

After this statement of the present condition of things the psalmist begins to pray for the removal of all that is thus contradictory to the promise. The plaintive question, Psalm 89:47, with the exception of one word, is verbatim the same as Psalm 79:5. The wrath to which quousque refers, makes itself to be felt, as the intensifying (vid., Psalm 13:2) לנצח implies, in the intensity and duration of everlasting wrath. חלד is this temporal life which glides past secretly and unnoticed (Psalm 17:14); and זכר־אני is not equivalent to זכרני (instead of which by way of emphasis only זכרני אני can be said), but אני מה־חלד stands for מה־חלד אני - according to the sense equivalent to אני מה־חדל, Psalm 39:5, cf. Psalm 39:6. The conjecture of Houbigant and modern expositors, זכר אדני (cf. Psalm 89:51), is not needed, since the inverted position of the words is just the same as in Psalm 39:5. In Psalm 89:48 it is not pointed על־מה שׁוא, "wherefore (Job 10:2; Job 13:14) hast Thou in vain (Psalm 127:1) created?" (Hengstenberg), but על־מה־שּׁוא, on account of or for what a nothing (מה־שׁוא belonging together as adjective and substantive, as in Psalm 30:10; Job 26:14) hast Thou created all the children of men? (De Wette, Hupfeld, and Hitzig). על, of the ground of a matter and direct motive, which is better suited to the question in Psalm 89:49 than the other way of taking it: the life of all men passes on into death and Hades; why then might not God, within this brief space of time, this handbreadth, manifest Himself to His creatures as the merciful and kind, and not as the always angry God? The music strikes in here, and how can it do so otherwise than in elegiac mesto? If God's justice tarries and fails in this present world, then the Old Testament faith becomes sorely tempted and tried, because it is not able to find consolation in the life beyond. Thus it is with the faith of the poet in the present juncture of affairs, the outward appearance of which is in such perplexing contradiction to the loving-kindness sworn to David and also hitherto vouchsafed. חסדים has not the sense in this passage of the promises of favour, as in 2 Chronicles 6:42, but proofs of favour; הראשׁנים glances back at the long period of the reigns of David and of Solomon.

(Note: The Pasek between חראשׁנים and אדני is not designed merely to remove the limited predicate from the Lord, who is indeed the First and the Last, but also to secure its pronunciation to the guttural Aleph, which might be easily passed over after Mem; cf. Genesis 1:27; Genesis 21:17; Genesis 30:20; Genesis 42:21, and frequently.)

The Asaph Psalm 77 and the Tephilla Isaiah 63 contain similar complaints, just as in connection with Psalm 89:51 one is reminded of the Asaph Psalm 79:2, Psalm 79:10, and in connection with Psalm 89:52 of Psalm 79:12. The phrase נשׂא בחיקו is used in other instances of loving nurture, Numbers 11:12; Isaiah 40:11. In this passage it must have a sense akin to חרפּת עבדיך. It is impossible on syntactic grounds to regard כּל־רבּים עמּים as still dependent upon חרפּת (Ewald) or, as Hupfeld is fond of calling it, as a "post-liminiar" genitive. Can it be that the כל is perhaps a mutilation of כּלמּת, after Ezekiel 36:15, as Bttcher suggests? We do not need this conjecture. For (1) to carry any one in one's bosom, if he is an enemy, may signify: to be obliged to cherish him with the vexation proceeding from him (Jeremiah 15:15), without being able to get rid of him; (2) there is no doubt that רבּים can, after the manner of numerals, be placed before the substantive to which it belongs, Ezekiel 32:10, Proverbs 31:29; 1 Chronicles 28:5; Nehemiah 9:28; cf. the other position, e.g., Jeremiah 16:16; (3) consequently כּל־רבּים עמּים may signify the "totality of many peoples" just as well as כּל גּוים רבּים in Ezekiel 31:6. The poet complains as a member of the nation, as a citizen of the empire, that he is obliged to foster many nations in his bosom, inasmuch as the land of Israel was overwhelmed by the Egyptians and their allies, the Libyans, Troglodytes, and Ethiopians. The אשׁר which follows in Psalm 89:52 cannot now be referred back over Psalm 89:51 to חרפּת (quâ calumniâ), and yet the relative sense, not the confirmatory (because, quoniam), is at issue. We therefore refer it to עמים, and take אויביך as an apposition, as in Psalm 139:20 : who reproach Thee, (as) Thine enemies, Jahve, who reproach the footsteps (עקּבות as in Psalm 77:20 with Dag. dirimens, which gives it an emotional turn) of Thine anointed, i.e., they follow him everywhere, wheresoever he may go, and whatsoever he may do. With these significant words, עקּבות משׁיחך, the Third Book of the Psalms dies away.

Psalm 90:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

thou

Psalm 104:29 You hide your face, they are troubled: you take away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

Psalm 146:4 His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are...

Genesis 6:6,7 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart...

Numbers 14:35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it to all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me...

Job 12:10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Job 34:14,15 If he set his heart on man, if he gather to himself his spirit and his breath...

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.

return ye children of men. Rather, Return ye children of Adam; to that dust out of which ye were originally formed

Cross References
Genesis 3:19
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Numbers 26:65
For the LORD had said of them, "They shall die in the wilderness." Not one of them was left, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

Job 34:14
If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,

Job 34:15
all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.

Psalm 104:29
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

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