Psalm 39:6
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!

Berean Study Bible
Surely every man goes about like a phantom; surely he bustles in vain; he heaps up riches not knowing who will haul them away.

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.

Christian Standard Bible
Yes, a person goes about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them.

Contemporary English Version
and it disappears like a shadow. Our struggles are senseless; we store up more and more, without ever knowing who will get it all.

Good News Translation
no more than a shadow. All we do is for nothing; we gather wealth, but don't know who will get it.

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.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Surely man walks in a shadow; nay, he is disquieted in vain: he lays up treasures, and knows not for whom he 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
5You, indeed, have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing before You. Truly each man at his best exists as but a breath. Selah 6Surely every man goes about like a phantom; surely he bustles in vain; he heaps up riches not knowing who will haul them away. 7Now, 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 it is clear that wise men die, and the foolish and the senseless both perish and leave their wealth to others.

Psalm 127:2
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for bread to eat--for He gives sleep to His beloved.

Ecclesiastes 1:2
"Futility of futilities," says the Teacher, "futility of futilities! Everything is futile!"

Ecclesiastes 2:18
I hated all for which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who comes after me.

Ecclesiastes 2:26
To the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He assigns the task of gathering and accumulating that which he will hand over to one who pleases God. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.

Ecclesiastes 5:14
or wealth lost in a bad venture, so that when he has a son there is nothing to pass on.

Ecclesiastes 5:17
Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness, with much sorrow, sickness, and anger.

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.

1 Corinthians 7:31
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

James 4:14
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

surely

Ecclesiastes 1:14
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 2:17,18,20,21
Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit…

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

he heapeth

Psalm 49:10,11
For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others…

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

Proverbs 13:22
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.







Lexicon
Surely
אַךְ־ (’aḵ-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 389: A particle of affirmation, surely

every man
אִ֗ישׁ (’îš)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 376: A man as an individual, a male person

goes about
יִֽתְהַלֶּךְ־ (yiṯ·hal·leḵ-)
Verb - Hitpael - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

like a phantom;
בְּצֶ֤לֶם ׀ (bə·ṣe·lem)
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6754: A phantom, illusion, resemblance, a representative figure, an idol

surely
אַךְ־ (’aḵ-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 389: A particle of affirmation, surely

he bustles
יֶהֱמָי֑וּן (ye·hĕ·mā·yūn)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural | Paragogic nun
Strong's Hebrew 1993: To make a, loud sound, commotion, tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor

in vain;
הֶ֥בֶל (he·ḇel)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1892: Emptiness, vanity, transitory, unsatisfactory

he heaps up [riches]
יִ֝צְבֹּ֗ר (yiṣ·bōr)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6651: To aggregate

not
וְֽלֹא־ (wə·lō-)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

knowing
יֵדַ֥ע (yê·ḏa‘)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3045: To know

who
מִי־ (mî-)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4310: Who?, whoever, in oblique construction with prefix, suffix

will haul them away.
אֹסְפָֽם׃ (’ō·sə·p̄ām)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 622: To gather for, any purpose, to receive, take away, remove
(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 essentiae. 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). 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.
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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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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
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