Psalms 144:4 MEANING

Psalm 144:4
(4) Vanity . . . shadow.--See Psalm 39:5-6; Psalm 102:11. The occasion of the introduction of these sentiments here is not quite clear. It may be the humility of the warrior who ascribes all success to God instead of to human prowess, or it may be a reflection uttered over the corpses of comrades, or, perhaps, a blending of the two.

Verse 4. - Man is like to vanity; or, "to a breath" (comp. Psalm 39:5; Psalm 62:9). His days are as a shadow that passeth away (see Psalm 102:11; Psalm 119:23). And yet God has regard to this weak creature of an hour.

144:1-8 When men become eminent for things as to which they have had few advantages, they should be more deeply sensible that God has been their Teacher. Happy those to whom the Lord gives that noblest victory, conquest and dominion over their own spirits. A prayer for further mercy is fitly begun with a thanksgiving for former mercy. There was a special power of God, inclining the people of Israel to be subject to David; it was typical of the bringing souls into subjection to the Lord Jesus. Man's days have little substance, considering how many thoughts and cares of a never-dying soul are employed about a poor dying body. Man's life is as a shadow that passes away. In their highest earthly exaltation, believers will recollect how mean, sinful, and vile they are in themselves; thus they will be preserved from self-importance and presumption. God's time to help his people is, when they are sinking, and all other helps fail.Man is like to vanity,.... Is vanity itself, in every age, state, and condition; yea, in his best estate, Psalm 39:5; or, "to the breath" (h) of the mouth, as Kimchi; which is gone as soon as seen almost: or, to a vapour (i); to which the life of man is compared, James 4:14;

his days are as a shadow that passeth away; as the former denotes the frailty and mortality of man, this the shortness of his duration; his days fleeing away, and of no more continuance than the shadow cast by the sun, which presently declines and is gone.

(h) "halitui", Muis; so Kimchi. (i) "Vapori", Cocceius; so the Syriac and Arabic versions.

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