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Ecclesiastes 3:18 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— I said in my heart, [It is] because of the sons of men, that God may prove them, and that they may see that they themselves are [but as] beasts.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— I said to myself concerning the sons of men, “God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— I said in my heart concerning the state of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— I said in my heart, It is thus with the children of men, that God may prove them, and that they should see that they themselves are but beasts.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Said, I, in my heart, as concerning the sons of men, That God was minded to prove them,—and that they might see, that they were beasts, of themselves.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— I said in my heart concerning the matter of the sons of man that God might cleanse them, so as to see that they themselves [are] beasts.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, that God would prove them, and shew them to be like beasts.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sonnes of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselues are beasts.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— I said in my heart, concerning the speech of the sons of man, God will judge them, and that to shew that they are beasts.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that Elohim might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
I x589
(0589) Complement
אֲנִי
'aniy
{an-ee'}
Contracted from H0595; I.
said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
in mine heart 3820
{3820} Prime
לֵב
leb
{labe}
A form of H3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything.
concerning x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the estate 1700
{1700} Prime
דִּבְרָה
dibrah
{dib-raw'}
Feminine of H1697; a reason, suit or style.
of the sons 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of men, 120
{0120} Prime
אָדָם
'adam
{aw-dawm'}
From H0119; ruddy, that is, a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.).
that lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
might manifest 1305
{1305} Prime
בָּרַר
barar
{baw-rar'}
A primitive root; to clarify (that is, brighten), examine, select.
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
them, and that they x1992
(1992) Complement
הֵם
hem
{haym}
Masculine plural from H1931; they (only used when emphatic).
might see 7200
{7200} Prime
רָאָה
ra'ah
{raw-aw'}
A primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
that they y1992
[1992] Standard
הֵם
hem
{haym}
Masculine plural from H1931; they (only used when emphatic).
x7945
(7945) Complement
שֶׁל
shel
{shel}
For the relative H0834; used with prepositional prefix, and often followed by some pronoun affixed; on account of, what soever, which soever.
themselves are beasts. 929
{0929} Prime
בְּהֵמָה
b@hemah
{be-hay-maw'}
From an unused root (probably meaning to be mute); properly a dumb beast; especially any large quadruped or animal (often collectively).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ecclesiastes 3:18

_ _ estate — The estate of fallen man is so ordered (these wrongs are permitted), that God might “manifest,” that is, thereby prove them, and that they might themselves see their mortal frailty, like that of the beasts.

_ _ sons of men — rather, “sons of Adam,” a phrase used for “fallen men.” The toleration of injustice until the judgment is designed to “manifest” men’s characters in their fallen state, to see whether the oppressed will bear themselves aright amidst their wrongs, knowing that the time is short, and there is a coming judgment. The oppressed share in death, but the comparison to “beasts” applies especially to the ungodly oppressors (Psalms 49:12, Psalms 49:20). They too need to be “manifested” (“proved”), whether, considering that they must soon die as the “beasts,” and fearing the judgment to come, they will repent (Daniel 4:27).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Ecclesiastes 3:16-22.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ecclesiastes 3:18

I said — And further I considered concerning their condition in this present world. That God — God suffers these disorders among men, that he might discover men to themselves, and shew what strange creatures they are, and what vile hearts they have. Beasts — That altho' God made them men, yet they have made themselves beasts by their brutish practices, and that, considered only with respect to the present life, they are as vain and miserable creatures as the beasts themselves.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ecclesiastes 3:18

I said in my heart concerning the state of the sons of men, that God might (h) tempt them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

(h) And made them pure in their first creation.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
concerning:

Genesis 3:17-19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; ... In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.
Job 14:1-4 Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble. ... Who can bring a clean [thing] out of an unclean? not one.
Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy [is] man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
Psalms 49:14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
Psalms 49:19-20 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. ... Man [that is] in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts [that] perish.
Psalms 73:18-19 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. ... How are they [brought] into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.
Psalms 90:5-12 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are [as] a sleep: in the morning [they are] like grass [which] groweth up. ... So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
1 Peter 1:24 For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

that God:
etc. or, that they might clear God, and see, etc.
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Psalms 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest.
Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Romans 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

and that:

Psalms 73:22 So foolish [was] I, and ignorant: I was [as] a beast before thee.
2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 3:17. Jb 14:1; 15:16; 40:8. Ps 49:14, 19; 51:4; 73:18, 22; 90:5. Ro 3:4; 9:23. He 9:27. 1P 1:24. 2P 2:12.

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