Psalm 8:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?

King James Bible
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Darby Bible Translation
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

World English Bible
what is man, that you think of him? What is the son of man, that you care for him?

Young's Literal Translation
What is man that Thou rememberest him? The son of man that Thou inspectest him?

Psalm 8:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

What is man - What claim has one so weak, and frail, and short-lived, to be remembered by time? What is there in man that entitles him to so much notice? Why has God conferred on him so signal honor? Why has he placed him over the works of his hands? Why has he made so many arrangements for his comfort? Why has he done so much to save him? He is so insignificant his life is so much like a vapor, he so soon disappears, he is so sinful and polluted, that the question may well be asked, why such honor has been conferred on him, and why such a dominion over the world has been given him. See these thoughts more fully expanded in the notes at Hebrews 2:6.

That thou art mindful of him - That thou dost remember him; that is, think of him, attend to him - that he does not pass away wholly from thy thoughts. Why should a God who is so vast and glorious, and who has all the starry worlds, so beautiful and grand, to claim his attention - why should he turn his thoughts on man? And especially why should he honor him as he has done by giving him dominion over the works of his hands?

And the son of man - Any descendant of man - any one of the race. What was man, as he was originally made, that such exalted honor should have been conferred on him; and what has any one of his descendants become, in virtue of his native faculties or acquired endowments, that he should be thus honored? The design is the same as in the former part of the verse, to express the idea that there was nothing in man, considered in any respect, that entitled him to this exalted honor. Nothing that man has done since the time when the question was asked by the psalmist has contributed to diminish the force of the inquiry.

That thou visitest him - As thou dost; that is, with the attention and care which thou dost bestow upon him; not forgetting him; not leaving him; not passing him by. The word used here - פקד pâqad - would properly express a visitation for any purpose - for inspection, for mercy; for friendship, for judgment, etc. Here it refers to the attention bestowed by God on man in conferring on him such marks of favor and honor as he had done - such attention that he never seemed to forget him, but was constantly coming to him with some new proof of favor. What God has done for man since the psalmist wrote this, has done nothing to weaken the force of this inquiry.

Psalm 8:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
What is Man?
"When I consider thy heaven, the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man?" Psalm 8:3, 4. How often has it been observed, that the Book of Psalms is a rich treasury of devotion, which the wisdom of God has provided to supply the wants of his children in all generations! In all ages the Psalms have been of singular use to those that loved or feared God; not only to the pious Israelites, but to the children of God in all nations. And this book has been of sovereign
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Since the Case is So, what is Man...
19. Since the case is so, what is man, while in this life he uses his own proper will, ere he choose and love God, but unrighteous and ungodly? "What," I say, "is man," a creature going astray from the Creator, unless his Creator "be mindful of him," [2683] and choose [2684] him freely, and love [2685] him freely? Because he is himself not able to choose or love, unless being first chosen and loved he be healed, because by choosing blindness he perceiveth not, and by loving laziness is soon wearied.
St. Augustine—On Patience

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

The Creation
Q-7: WHAT ARE THE DECREES OF GOD? A: The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he has foreordained whatsoever shall come to pass. I have already spoken something concerning the decrees of God under the attribute of his immutability. God is unchangeable in his essence, and he-is unchangeable in his decrees; his counsel shall stand. He decrees the issue of all things, and carries them on to their accomplishment by his providence; I
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Cross References
Hebrews 2:6
But one has testified somewhere, saying, "WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM?

Job 7:17
"What is man that You magnify him, And that You are concerned about him,

Job 14:3
"You also open Your eyes on him And bring him into judgment with Yourself.

Psalm 144:3
O LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You think of him?

Isaiah 2:22
Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; For why should he be esteemed?

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