Psalm 144:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.

King James Bible
Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

Darby Bible Translation
Man is like to vanity; his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

World English Bible
Man is like a breath. His days are like a shadow that passes away.

Young's Literal Translation
Man to vanity hath been like, His days are as a shadow passing by.

Psalm 144:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

The idea of Job is, that there is no substance, nothing that is permanent. A shadow moves on gently and silently, and is soon gone. It leaves no trace of its being, and returns no more. They who have watched the beautiful shadow of a cloud on a landscape, and have seen how rapidly it passes ever meadows and fields of grain, and rolls up the mountain side and disappears, will have a vivid conception of this figure. How gently yet how rapidly it moves. How soon it is gone. How void of impression is its course. Who can track its way; who can reach it? So man moves on. Soon he is gone; he leaves no trace of his being, and returns no more.

Psalm 144:4Man is like to vanity - See the notes at Psalm 39:5-6; Psalm 62:9. The idea here is, that man can be compared only with that which is utterly vain - which is emptiness - which is nothing.

His days are as a shadow that passeth away - See the notes at Psalm 102:11 : "My days are like a shadow that declineth." The idea is essentially the same. It is, that as a shadow has no substance, and that as it moves along constantly as the sun declines, until it vanishes altogether, so man has nothing substantial or permanent, and so he is constantly moving off and will soon wholly disappear.

Psalm 144:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Thankfulness for Mercies Received, a Necessary Duty
Numberless marks does man bear in his soul, that he is fallen and estranged from God; but nothing gives a greater proof thereof, than that backwardness, which every one finds within himself, to the duty of praise and thanksgiving. When God placed the first man in paradise, his soul no doubt was so filled with a sense of the riches of the divine love, that he was continually employing that breath of life, which the Almighty had not long before breathed into him, in blessing and magnifying that all-bountiful,
George Whitefield—Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

The Knowledge of God Conspicuous in the Creation, and Continual Government of the World.
1. The invisible and incomprehensible essence of God, to a certain extent, made visible in his works. 2. This declared by the first class of works--viz. the admirable motions of the heavens and the earth, the symmetry of the human body, and the connection of its parts; in short, the various objects which are presented to every eye. 3. This more especially manifested in the structure of the human body. 4. The shameful ingratitude of disregarding God, who, in such a variety of ways, is manifested within
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Cross References
James 4:14
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

Job 8:9
"For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are as a shadow.

Job 11:12
"An idiot will become intelligent When the foal of a wild donkey is born a man.

Job 14:2
"Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.

Psalm 39:5
"Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.

Psalm 39:11
"With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity; You consume as a moth what is precious to him; Surely every man is a mere breath. Selah.

Psalm 102:11
My days are like a lengthened shadow, And I wither away like grass.

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