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I said in my heart concerning

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the condition

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of the sons of Adam,

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“GOD tests

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them so they may see that they themselves are like animals.

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Regarding the challenging circumstances men find themselves in, I said to myself, “THE RULER OVER ALL THINGS purges men’s thoughts so they will come to the realization that, in some ways, they are like the animals.



There are no quotation marks used in Hebrew, so we cannot be sure where a quote like this begins and ends. Some place the phrase beginning with “concerning” in the quote, some do not, and some find a way to express it without quotation marks. I believe it fits best to start the quote with “God tests …”


The text simply says “condition, or estate” but context tells us he is talking about the difficulties, frustrations and hardships of life.


“Adam” is the word used here for the name means “man” as well as “red or ruddy.” It is an obvious indication of all mankind, both men and women.


This verb means “to purify, purge, cleanse or brighten.” In this context, if God is purging us, it is in regard to our thinking process about suffering and hardship. The point is that He uses hardships to bring us down a notch, to put us in our place, so we are not proud, as we would be if everything went well. Solomon experienced many successes in the first 20 plus years of his reign, but later he learned that those things do not have lasting value.

5: “like animals”

Solomon has already limited his comparison of humans to animals by the statement “concerning the condition of the sons of men,” with reference to man’s hardships and lack of lasting accomplishments. This does not mean we are like animals in every way. The next verse explains the specific way in which we are like animals.