corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 146:4

 

 

His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish.

Adam Clarke Commentary

His breath goeth forth - His existence depends merely, under God, on the air he breathes. When he ceases to respire he ceases to live; his body from that moment begins to claim its affinity to the earth; and all his thoughts, purposes, and projects, whether good or evil, come to nought and perish. He, then, who has no other dependence, must necessarily be miserable.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-146.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

His breath goeth forth - He dies like other people, no matter how exalted he is. See the notes at Isaiah 2:22.

He returneth to his earth - See the notes at Psalm 90:3. The earth - the dust - is “his” -

(a) It is his, as that from which he was made: he turns back to what he was. Genesis 3:19: “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

(b) The earth - the dust - the grave is his, as it is his home - the place where he will abide.

(c) It is his, as it is the only property which he has in reversion. All that a man - a prince, a nobleman, a monarch, a millionaire - will soon have will be his grave - his few feet of earth. That will be his by right of possession; by the fact that, for the time being, he will occupy it, and not another man. But that, too, may soon become another man‘s grave, so that even there he is a tenant only for a time; he has no permanent possession even of a grave. How poor is the richest man!

In that very day - The very day - the moment - that he dies.

His thoughts perish - His purposes; his schemes; his plans; his purposes of conquest and ambition; his schemes for becoming rich or great; his plans of building a house, and laying out his grounds, and enjoying life; his design of making a book, or taking a journey, or giving himself to ease and pleasure. Luke 12:19-20: “and I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry; but God said unto him, Thou fool! this night thy soul shall be required of time.” Such are all the purposes of men!


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-146.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

His breath goeth forth,.... That is, the breath of a son of man, of any and everyone of the princes; it goes forth continually, and is drawn in again as long as a man lives; but at death it goes forth, and returns no more till the resurrection: the breath which the Lord breathed into man, and which is in his nostrils while he lives, and is very precarious. And when it is taken away, he dies, and

he returneth to his earth; from whence he was taken, and of which he was made; upon which he lived, where he dwelt, and in which he took delight and pleasure, minding earth and earthly things, and which is now all he has; who, though he may have had many large estates and possessions, nay, have ruled over many kingdoms and countries, yet his property of earth is now no more than the length and breadth of a grave; he returns to earth as soon as he dies, becoming a lump of clay; and particularly when he is interred in it, and when by corruption and worms he is turned into it;

in that very day his thoughts perish; in the day, hour, and moment he dies: not that the soul ceases, or ceases to think at death; it is immortal, and dies not; and, as it exists in a separate state after death, it retains all its powers and faculties, and, among the rest, its power of thinking; which it is capable of exercising, and does, as appears from the case of the souls under the altar, Revelation 6:9. But the meaning is, that at death all the purposes and designs of men are at an end; all their projects and schemes, which they had formed, and were pursuing, now come to nothing; whether to do good to others, or to aggrandize themselves and families; and therefore such mortal creatures are not to be depended upon, since all their promises may fail; nay, even their good designs may be frustrated; see Job 17:12.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-146.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his c thoughts perish.

(c) As their vain opinions, by which they flattered themselves and so imagined wicked enterprises.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-146.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

That day — As soon as ever he is dead.

Thoughts — All his designs and endeavours either for himself or for others.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-146.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Ver. 4. His breath goeth forth] It is but in his nostrils at best; every moment ready to puff out; cease from him, therefore, Isa. ii. Man, say the Rabbis, is but a bladder full of air, which can stand on no ground; but, pricked with a pin, it shriveleth to nothing. Man, saith a Father, is nothing else but soul and soil, breath and body; a puff of wind the one, a pile of dust the other, no solidity in either (Naz.).

He returneth to his earth] Of which he was made, and to which he is condemned, Genesis 3:19, and upon which he hath too much set his affections, being totus terreus, entirely of earth; and so the sooner forfeiteth all. It was therefore good counsel that one once gave to a great man, who had showed him his stately house and pleasant gardens: You had need make sure of heaven, my lord, or else, when you die, you will be a very great loser. But this few princes think of; which made the Spanish friar say, There were but few princes in hell; for what reason? there were but few in all.

In that day his thoughts perish] His golden thoughts, his shining white thoughts, irritae diffluunt, come to just nothing. Princes may haply have in their heads whole commonwealths, and the affairs of many kingdoms; as Alexander had, and Tamerlane, who died of an ague in the midst of his great preparations for the conquest of the Greek empire. Or, his thoughts ( ad alios benefaciendos, as Aben Ezra expoundeth it) of doing thee and others good; these fall to the ground with him. Great men’s words are like dead men’s shoes, saith one; he may go barefoot that waiteth for them. Wherefore


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-146.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 146:4

I. On the "day" that is here referred to, when man's "breath goeth forth, and he returneth to the earth," the most affecting aspect in which you can look at him is that which is here presented. So far as the present life is concerned, and to all appearance, he has ceased to be a person, and has become a thing.

II. All the thinkings of men that are not really and thoroughly true, however beautiful and magnificent they may be, and whatever favour they may find with their parents or with man, to whom they are presented—when men come to die, they will find that they all perish and become nothing if they are not true; when the mind enters into the world of truth, pure truth and intellect, it will find it can carry nothing but truth with it.

III. We may apply this passage to purposes, projects, and intentions: "In that very day his thoughts perish."

We learn from this subject: (1) the very great importance to be attached to getting our minds filled with real truth, God's own truth; (2) the vast superiority of anything that is really done to anything that is merely thought.

T. Binney King's Weighhouse Chapel Sermons, 2nd series, p. 246.


References: Psalms 146:4.—C. S. Robinson, Sermons on Neglected Texts, p. 131. Psalms 146:6.—J. Baldwin Brown, Christian World Pulpit, vol. vii., pp. 177, 209. Psalms 146:7.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. viii., No. 484.




Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/psalms-146.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 146:4. His thoughts perish His projects perish. Mudge. "All the designs which he had formed in favour of his dependants are frustrated and disappointed."


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-146.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He returneth, in his body, Ecclesiastes 12:7,

to his earth; to that earth from which all mankind, princes not excepted, had their original.

In that very day, as soon as ever he is dead, his thoughts perish; all his designs and endeavours, either for himself or for others.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-146.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4. His breath goeth—In Hebrew rhetoric the first clause is often a condition. When “his breath,” etc. His thoughts perish, means, not the destruction of the thinking faculty, the mind, but the ruin of his plans.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-146.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Stars. Which to man are innumerable. Though some have counted 1022 with Ptolemy, yet the discovery of telescopes has shewn that many more are discernible, (Calmet) and none would dare at present to fix their number. (Berthier) --- Cicero (Of. i.) treats this as a thing impossible. See Genesis xv. 5. (Calmet) --- Ptolemy could only ascertain the number of the more notorious. (Worthington) --- Kimchi admits 1098 created to shine, besides innumerable others, which have influence over plants, &c. God has the most perfect knowledge of all. They are like his soldiers, whom he knows by name, (Isaias xl. 25.) as the good shepherd does his sheep, John x. 3. (Calmet) --- We read that Cyrus knew the name of all his officers, (Cyrop. v.) and that Adrian, and Scipio, the Asiatic, could even name all the soldiers in their armies.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-146.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

His breath, &c. This verse occurs in the Apocrypha (1 Mace. Psalms 2:63); but why is it assumed that this verse is taken from the Book of Maccabees, instead of this verse in Maccabees being taken from this Psalm?

breath = spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9. Not the same word as in Psalms 150:6.

returneth. See Genesis 2:7; Genesis 3:19, and compare Ecclesiastes 12:7. Ecclesiastes 104:29.

earth = ground, or dust. Hebrew. "adamah. Not "erez = the Earth.

thoughts = purposes, or plans.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-146.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth (from Psalms 104:29 : cf. Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 12:7), in that very day his thoughts perish. The Chaldaic translates, 'his machinations perish.' The perishing nature of the class of beings to which princes belong shows how little "trust" is to be placed in them (Psalms 146:3). However elated be their thoughts now, these shall all soon come to nothing (1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 3:20). The Hebrew for 'thoughts" means-literally, 'shinings,' 'polishings,' implying how elaborately fabricated were his plans [ `eshtownotaayw (Hebrew #6250), from `aashat (Hebrew #6245), to shine]. How can he bring "help" or salvation to others who cannot save himself? Death suddenly snaps asunder his web of projects, and therefore ends all the hope that was placed in him.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-146.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) In that very day . . .—Comp. Antony’s words:

“But yesterday the word of Cæsar might

Have stood against the world; now lies he there,

And none so poor to do him reverence.”

SHAKSPEARE, Julius Cæsar.

Thoughts.—The Hebrew word is peculiar to this passage. “Fabrications” would reproduce its etymological meaning.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-146.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
His breath
104:29; Genesis 2:7; 6:17; Job 14:10; 17:1; 27:3; Daniel 5:23
he returneth
90:3; Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 12:7
his thoughts
Job 14:21; 17:11; Isaiah 2:22; Lamentations 4:20; 1 Corinthians 2:6

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-146.html.

To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology