Psalm 62:9
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath.

King James Bible
Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.

Darby Bible Translation
Men of low degree are only vanity; men of high degree, a lie: laid in the balance, they go up together lighter than vanity.

World English Bible
Surely men of low degree are just a breath, and men of high degree are a lie. In the balances they will go up. They are together lighter than a breath.

Young's Literal Translation
Only -- vanity are the low, a lie the high. In balances to go up they than vanity are lighter.

Psalm 62:9 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Surely men of low degree are vanity - literally, "vanity are the sons of Adam," but the word Adam here is used evidently to represent men, or the race. The same word is also employed particularly to represent common men, or men of the humbler rank, in contradistinction to the word אישׁ 'ı̂ysh - which is the other word used here, and rendered "men of high degree." Compare, for this use of the word, Hosea 6:7. The same antithesis between the two words is found in Isaiah 2:9; Isaiah 5:15. The idea here is, that in the great matters which pertain to us, we cannot depend on men, and that our hope - our trust - must be in God. Of men of the humbler or lower classes, it is said that they are "vanity;" that is, they are like a vain, empty, unsubstantial thing. They cannot help us. It is useless to rely on them when we most need aid.

Men of high degree are a lie - Men of exalted rank, kings, princes, nobles. This does not refer to their personal character, as if they were always false, deceitful, treacherous; but the idea is, that any prospect of protection or aid from men of rank and station - front any power which they wield - is unworthy to be relied on. It is not that which we need; it is not that on which we can depend.

To be laid in the balance - literally, "In the scales to go up;" that is, they are seen to go up, or to show how light they are. They have no real weight; no real value. On the scales or balance, see the notes at Daniel 5:27.

They are altogether lighter than vanity - They are all vain; single or combined, they have no power to save us. The meaning is not that if these two ranks of persons were weighed against each other they would both be found to be vanity; but that it is true of each and every rank of men - high and low - whether single or combined - that, as weighed against our interests and needs, they are nothing. All the kings of the earth with all their hosts of war, all princes and nobles with all that they can summon from the lower ranks of their people, cannot save one soul from death - cannot deliver us from the consequences of our transgressions. God, and God alone, can do this.

Psalm 62:9 Parallel Commentaries

Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy; for thou renderest to every man according to his work.--Psalm lxii. 12. Some of the translators make it kindness and goodness; but I presume there is no real difference among them as to the character of the word which here, in the English Bible, is translated mercy. The religious mind, however, educated upon the theories yet prevailing in the so-called religious world, must here recognize a departure from the presentation to which they have been accustomed:
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

My High Tower
"He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence, I shall not be moved."--Ps. lxii. 6. Paul Gerhardt, 1676. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 Is God for me? I fear not, though all against me rise; I call on Christ my Saviour, the host of evil flies. My friend the Lord Almighty, and He who loves me, God, What enemy shall harm me, though coming as a flood? I know it, I believe it, I say it fearlessly, That God, the Highest, Mightiest, for ever loveth me; At all times, in all places, He standeth
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

But Concerning True Patience, Worthy of the Name of this virtue...
12. But concerning true patience, worthy of the name of this virtue, whence it is to be had, must now be inquired. For there are some [2650] who attribute it to the strength of the human will, not which it hath by Divine assistance, but which it hath of free-will. Now this error is a proud one: for it is the error of them which abound, of whom it is said in the Psalm, "A scornful reproof to them which abound, and a despising to the proud." [2651] It is not therefore that "patience of the poor" which
St. Augustine—On Patience

Letter xix (A. D. 1127) to Suger, Abbot of S. Denis
To Suger, Abbot of S. Denis He praises Suger, who had unexpectedly renounced the pride and luxury of the world to give himself to the modest habits of the religious life. He blames severely the clerk who devotes himself rather to the service of princes than that of God. 1. A piece of good news has reached our district; it cannot fail to do great good to whomsoever it shall have come. For who that fear God, hearing what great things He has done for your soul, do not rejoice and wonder at the great
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Cross References
Job 7:16
"I waste away; I will not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are but a breath.

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

Psalm 9:20
Put them in fear, O LORD; Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah.

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 49:2
Both low and high, Rich and poor together.

Psalm 89:47
Remember what my span of life is; For what vanity You have created all the sons of men!

Psalm 116:11
I said in my alarm, "All men are liars."

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