For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts,
&c.] Aben Ezra says this verse is according to the thoughts of the children of men that are not wise; but rather the wise man says what he does according to his own thoughts, and proceeds to prove the likeness and equality of men and beasts; even one thing befalleth them;
the same events belong to one as to another; the same diseases and disasters, calamities and distresses: Noah's flood carried away one as well as another; they both perished in it; several of the plagues of Egypt were inflicted on both; and both are beholden to God for their health, preservation, and safety; see ( Genesis 7:21 ) ( Exodus 8:18 ) ( Exodus 9:9 Exodus 9:25 ) ( Psalms 36:6 ) ; as the one dieth, so dieth the other;
the Targum compares a wicked man and an unclean beast together, in the former clause; and paraphrases this after this manner,
``as an unclean beast dies, so dies he who is not turned to repentance before his death:''he dies unclean in his sins, stupid, senseless; no more thoughtful of his future state, and of what will become of his precious and immortal soul, than a beast that has none; see ( Psalms 49:14 ) ; perhaps unjust judges, persecuting tyrants, may particularly be regarded: who, though princes, shall not only die like men, but even like beasts, ( Psalms 82:7 ) ; yea, they have all one breath;
the same vital breath, or breath of life, which is in the nostrils of the one as of the other; they breathe and draw in the same air, and have the same animal and vegetative life, and equally liable to lose it, ( Genesis 2:7 ) ( 7:22 ) ; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast:
he has reason and speech, which a beast has not; which gives him a preference to them, did he make a right use of them; but, as an animal, he has no preeminence, being liable to the same accidents, and to death itself: the Targum excepts the house of the grave, man being usually buried when he dies, but a beast is not: yea, in some things a beast has the preeminence of a man; at least some have, in strength, agility, quickness of the senses for all [is] vanity;
all the gratifications of the senses; all riches, honours, pleasures, power, and authority, especially when abused.