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Ecclesiastes 3:21 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Who knoweth the spirit of man, whether it goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast, whether it goeth downward to the earth?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Who knoweth the spirit of the children of men? Doth it go upwards? and the spirit of the beasts, doth it go downwards to the earth?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Who knoweth the spirit of the sons of men, whether it, ascendeth, above,—or the spirit of the beast, whether it, descendeth, below, to the earth?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Who knoweth the spirit of the sons of man that is going up on high, and the spirit of the beast that is going down below to the earth?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Who knoweth if the spirit of the children of Adam ascend upward, and if the spirit of the beasts descend downward?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth vpward; and the spirit of the beast that goeth downeward to the earth?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And who has seen the spirit of the sons of man, whether it goes upward? and the spirit of the beast, whether it goes downward to the earth?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Who x4310
(4310) Complement
מִי
miy
{me}
An interrogitive pronoun of persons, as H4100 is of things, who? (occasionally, by a peculiar idiom, of things); also (indefinitely) whoever; often used in oblique construction with prefix or suffix.
knoweth 3045
{3045} Prime
ידע
yada`
{yaw-dah'}
A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
the spirit 7307
{7307} Prime
רוּחַ
ruwach
{roo'-akh}
From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions).
of man 120
{0120} Prime
אָדָם
'adam
{aw-dawm'}
From H0119; ruddy, that is, a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.).
y1121
[1121] Standard
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.).
that x1931
(1931) Complement
הוּא
huw'
{hoo}
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
goeth 5927
{5927} Prime
עָלָה
`alah
{aw-law'}
A primitive root; to ascend, intransitively (be high) or active (mount); used in a great variety of senses, primary and secondary, literally and figuratively.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
upward, 4605
{4605} Prime
מַעַל
ma`al
{mah'-al}
From H5927; properly the upper part, used only adverbially with prefix upward, above, overhead, from the top, etc.
and the spirit 7307
{7307} Prime
רוּחַ
ruwach
{roo'-akh}
From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions).
of the beast 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).
that x1931
(1931) Complement
הוּא
huw'
{hoo}
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
goeth 3381
{3381} Prime
יָרַד
yarad
{yaw-rad'}
A primitive root; to descend (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region, as the shore, a boundary, the enemy, etc.; or figuratively to fall); causatively to bring down (in all the above applications).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
downward 4295
{4295} Prime
מַטָּה
mattah
{mat'-taw}
From H5786 with directive enclitic appended; downward, below or beneath; often adverbially with or without prefixes.
to the earth? 776
{0776} Prime
אֶרֶץ
'erets
{eh'-rets}
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ecclesiastes 3:21

_ _ Who knoweth — Not doubt of the destination of man’s spirit (Ecclesiastes 12:7); but “how few, by reason of the outward mortality to which man is as liable as the beast and which is the ground of the skeptic’s argument, comprehend the wide difference between man and the beast” (Isaiah 53:1). The Hebrew expresses the difference strongly, “The spirit of man that ascends, it belongeth to on high; but the spirit of the beast that descends, it belongeth to below, even to the earth.” Their destinations and proper element differ utterly [Weiss].

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Ecclesiastes 3:16-22.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ecclesiastes 3:21

Who knoweth? — True it is, there is a difference, which is known by good men; but the generality of mankind never mind it: their hearts are wholly set on present and sensible things, and take no thought for the things of the future and invisible world.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ecclesiastes 3:21

Who (k) knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

(k) Meaning, that reason cannot comprehend that which faith believes in.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
knoweth:

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Luke 16:22-23 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; ... And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.
Acts 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

of man that goeth upward:
Heb. of the sons of man that is ascending
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ec 12:7. Lk 16:22. Jn 14:3. Ac 1:25. 2Co 5:1, 8. Php 1:23.

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