New American Standard Bible
Thus He remembered that they were but flesh, A wind that passes and does not return.
King James Bible
For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
Darby Bible Translation
And he remembered that they were flesh, a breath that passeth away and cometh not again.
World English Bible
He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes away, and doesn't come again.
Young's Literal Translation
And He remembereth that they are flesh, A wind going on -- and it returneth not.
Psalm 78:39 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For he remembered that they were but flesh - That they were human; that they were weak; that they were prone to err; that they were liable to fall into temptation. In his dealings with them he took into view their fallen nature; their training; their temptations; their trials; their weaknesses; and he judged them accordingly. Compare Psalm 103:14. So it was with the Saviour in his treatment of his disciples, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak," Matthew 26:41. God will judge people as they are; he will not in his judgments forget that they are people, and that they are weak and feeble. People often judge their fellow-men with much more harshness, with much less allowance for their infirmities and weaknesses, than God shows in his dealings with mankind. And yet such are the very people who are most ready to blame God for his judgments. If God acted on the principle and in the manner according to which they act, they could hope for no mercy at his hand. It is well for them that there is not one like themselves on the throne of the universe.
A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again - Which blows by us, and is gone forever. What a striking description is this of man! How true of an individual! How true of a generation! How true of the race at large! God remembers this when he thinks of people, and he deals with them accordingly. He is not harsh and severe, but kind and compassionate. To man, a being so feeble - to the human race, so frail - to the generations of that race, so transitory, so soon passing off the stage of life - he is ever willing to show compassion. He does not make use of his great power to crush them; he prefers to manifest his mercy in saving them.
And then vanisheth away - Wholly disappears. Like the dissipated vapor, it is entirely gone. There is no remnant, no outline, nothing that reminds us that it ever was. So of life. Soon it disappears altogether. The works of art that man has made, the house that he has built, or the book that he has written, remain for a little time, but the life has gone. There is nothing of it remaining - any more than there is of the vapor which in the morning climbed silently up the mountain side. The animating principle has vanished forever. On such a frail and evanescent thing, who can build any substantial hopes?
Among such sins of the first table is that described in our text. It is consequently one of the masterpieces of iniquity, and we shall do well to purge ourselves of it. It is full of evil to ourselves, and is calculated to dishonor both God and man, therefore let us be in earnest to cut it up both root and branch. I think we have all been guilty of this in our measure; and we are not free from it even to this day. Whether we be saints or sinners, we may stand here and make our humble confession that …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859
"The Sun of Righteousness"
A Jealous God
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.
Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."
"Remember that my life is but breath; My eye will not again see good.
"I waste away; I will not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are but a breath.
'Remember now, that You have made me as clay; And would You turn me into dust again?
"LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am.
As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.
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