Nevertheless man [being] in honour abideth not
Or Adam: and some understand this of the first man Adam, who was created and crowned with glory and honour; but it did not abide with him, nor he in that: so some Jewish writers F25 interpret it. But whether the words will admit of this sense or not, the general view of the psalmist, which is to show the inconstancy and instability of worldly honour, may be exemplified in the case of the first man; he was in honour he was created after the image and likeness of God, and so was the glory of God, being his image; he was in friendship with God, as many instances show, and had dominion over all the creatures below; he had much knowledge of God, and communion with him, and was a pure, holy, and upright creature; but he continued not long in this state of honour and glory; "he lodged not a night" F26, as the words may be rendered; see ( Genesis 28:11 ) ; and as they are by some, who conclude from hence that Adam fell the same day in which he was created; and which is the sense of the above Jewish writers, who say, he was driven out of paradise the evening of that day; but though he might stand longer, and the word is sometimes used of a longer continuance; see ( Psalms 25:13 ) ; yet by the account in Genesis it looks as if he continued in his state of honour but a short time;
he is like the beasts [that] perish;
becoming mortal in his body, and brutish and stupid in his understanding. Or, "he is like the beasts", "they perish", or "[are] cut off" F1; the word being in the plural number, which shows that not a single individual person is meant, but men in general; or, however, such of the sons of Adam that come to honour; these do not abide long in it, their honour is a very short lived one, sometimes it does not last their lives: they that are in high places are in slippery ones, and are often cast down from the pinnacle of honour in a moment; and if their glory does abide with them throughout the day of life, yet it shall not lodge with them in the night of the grave; thither their glory shall not descend after them, ( Psalms 49:17 ) ; and when they die, they perish like the beasts; as they are like them in life, stupid, brutish, and ignorant, so in death; as the beast dies, so do they, ( Ecclesiastes 3:19 ) ; as the one dies without any thought of or preparation for death, so do the other; as the one carries nothing along with it, so neither do the other: as beasts that die of themselves, for such are here meant, as Junius well observes, are good for nothing but to be cast into the ditch; so are wicked men, notwithstanding all their riches and honours; yea, it is worse with them than with the beasts, since after death comes judgment, and after that the second death, the wrath of God.
F25 Bereshit Rabba, s. 11. fol. 9. 1. 2. Pirke Eliezer, c. 19.
F26 (Nyly lb) "non pernoctabit", Montanus, Amama; so Ainsworth.
F1 (wmdn) "excisi sunt", Montanus.