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Psalms 62:9

    Psalms 62:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: In the balances they will go up; They are together lighter than vanity.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Truly men of low birth are nothing, and men of high position are not what they seem; if they are put in the scales together they are less than a breath.

    Webster's Revision

    Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: In the balances they will go up; They are 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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: in the balances they will go up; they are together lighter than vanity.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 62:9

    Men of low degree are vanity - בני אדם beney Adam, which we here translate men of low degree, literally, sons of Adam, are put in opposition to בני איש beney ish, men of high degree, literally, the sons of substance, or children of substantial men. Adam was the name of the first man when formed out of the earth; Ish was his name when united to his wife, and they became one flesh. Before, he was the incomplete man; after, he was the complete man; for it seems, in the sight of God, it requires the male and female to make one complete human being. אנוש enosh is another name given to man, but this concerns him in his low, fallen, wretched estate: it properly signifies weak, poor, addicted, wretched man.

    Common men can give no help. They are vanity, and it is folly to trust in them; for although they may be willing, yet they have no ability to help you: "Rich men are a lie." They promise much, but perform nothing; they cause you to hope, but mock your expectation.

    To be laid to the balance - במאזנים לעלות bemozenayim laaloth, In the balances they ascend: exactly answerable to our phrase, they kick the beam.

    They are altogether lighter than vanity - Literally, Both of them united are vanity, המה מהבל יחד hemmah mehebel yachad. Put both together in one scale, and truth in the opposite, and both will kick the beam. They weigh nothing, they avail nothing.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 62:9

    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.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 62:9

    62:9 Vanity - Vain, and helpless creatures. A lie - They promise much, but generally deceive those who trust in them.