Psalm 39:6
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

Psalm 39:6 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Surely every man walketh in a vain show - Margin, "an image." The word rendered "vain show" - צלם tselem - means properly a shade, a shadow; and then, an image or likeness, as shadowing forth any real object. Then it comes to denote an idol, 2 Kings 11:18; Amos 5:26. Here the idea seems to be that of an image, as contradistinguished from a reality; the shadow of a thing, as distinguished from the substance. Man seems to be like an image, a shadow, a phantom - and not a real object, walking about. He is a form, an appearance, that soon vanishes away like a shadow.

Surely they are disquieted in vain - That is, they are actively engaged; they bustle about; they are full of anxiety; they form plans which they execute with much toil, care, and trouble; yet for no purpose worthy of so much diligence and anxious thought. They are busy, bustling "shadows" - existing for no real or substantial purposes, and accomplishing nothing. "What shadows we are, and what shadows do we pursue," said the great orator and statesman, Edmund Burke; and what a striking and beautiful comment on the passage before us was that saying, coming from such a man, and from one occupying such a position.

He heapeth up riches - The word used here means to heap up, to store up, as grain, Genesis 41:35; or treasures, Job 27:16; or a mound, Habakkuk 1:10. Here it undoubtedly refers to the efforts of men in accumulating wealth, or storing up property. This was the thing which struck the psalmist as the leading employment of these moving shadows - a fact that would strike any one as he looks upon this busy world.

And knoweth not who shall gather them - Who shall gather them to himself; to whom they will go when he dies. Compare Job 27:16-19; Ecclesiastes 2:18, Ecclesiastes 2:21; Ecclesiastes 5:13-14; Luke 12:20. The idea is, that it is not only vanity in itself, considered as the great business of life, to attempt to accumulate property - seeing that this is not what the great object of life should be, and that a life thus spent really amounts to nothing - but vanity in this respect also, that a man can have no absolute control over his property when he is dead, and he knows not, and cannot know, into whose hands his accumulated gains may fall. The facts on this subject; the actual distribution of property after a man is dead; the use often made of it, against which no man can guard - should, together with other and higher motives, be a powerful consideration with every one, not to make the amassing of wealth the great business of life.

Psalm 39:6 Parallel Commentaries

Epiphanius of Pavia.
ABOUT the same time that Cæsarius was thus labouring in France, Epiphanius, Bishop of Pavia, was labouring in a like spirit in Italy. He also was a blessing for his land, convulsed by the disturbances of war, and deluged by one barbarous tribe after another. Amidst the strife of hostile tribes, he gained equal confidence and equal respect from the leaders of the adverse parties, and shed benefits alike on friend and foe. When the wild hosts of Odoacer were destroying and plundering Pavia, in
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Period ii. The Church from the Permanent Division of the Empire Until the Collapse of the Western Empire and the First Schism Between the East and the West, or Until About A. D. 500
In the second period of the history of the Church under the Christian Empire, the Church, although existing in two divisions of the Empire and experiencing very different political fortunes, may still be regarded as forming a whole. The theological controversies distracting the Church, although different in the two halves of the Graeco-Roman world, were felt to some extent in both divisions of the Empire and not merely in the one in which they were principally fought out; and in the condemnation
Joseph Cullen Ayer Jr., Ph.D.—A Source Book for Ancient Church History

How those are to be Admonished who Decline the Office of Preaching Out of Too Great Humility, and those who Seize on it with Precipitate Haste.
(Admonition 26.) Differently to be admonished are those who, though able to preach worthily, are afraid by reason of excessive humility, and those whom imperfection or age forbids to preach, and yet precipitancy impells. For those who, though able to preach with profit, still shrink back through excessive humility are to be admonished to gather from consideration of a lesser matter how faulty they are in a greater one. For, if they were to hide from their indigent neighbours money which they possessed
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

"And we all do Fade as a Leaf, and Our Iniquities, Like the Wind, have Taken us Away. "
Isaiah lxiv. 6.--"And we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Here they join the punishment with the deserving cause, their uncleanness and their iniquities, and so take it upon them, and subscribe to the righteousness of God's dealing. We would say this much in general--First, Nobody needeth to quarrel God for his dealing. He will always be justified when he is judged. If the Lord deal more sharply with you than with others, you may judge there is a difference
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Luke 12:20
"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'

1 Corinthians 7:31
and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

James 1:10
and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.

James 1:11
For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.

1 Peter 1:24

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.

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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
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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
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