DUST

Psalm 90:3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

Barnes’ Notes:

The word rendered “destruction” – דכא dakkâ’ – means properly anything beaten or broken small or very fine, and hence, “dust.”

The idea here is, that God causes man to return to dust; that is, the elements which compose the body return to their original condition, or seem to mingle with the earth. Genesis 3:19 :

“dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

The word “man” here, of course, refers to man in general – all people. It is the great law of our being. Individual man, classes of people, generations of people, races of people, pass away; but God remains the same.

… there is nothing more humiliating than that a human body, once so beautiful, should turn back to dust; nothing more humbling than the grave.

And sayest, …

Return, ye children of men –

Return to your dust; go back to the earth from which you came.

Return, all of you without exception; –

kings, princes, nobles, warriors, conquerors; mighty people, captains, and counselors; ye learned and great, ye honored and flattered, ye beautiful and happy, ye youthful and vigorous, and ye aged and venerable; whatever is your rank, whatever are your possessions, whatever are your honors, whatever you have to make you lovely, to charm, to please, to be admired; or whatever there is to make you loathsome and detestable; ye vicious, ye profane, low, grovelling, sensual, debased; go all of you alike to “dust!’

Oh, how affecting the thought that this is the lot of man; how much should it do to abase the pride of the race; how much should it do to make any man sober and humble, that he himself is soon to turn back to dust – unhonored, undistinguished, and undistinguishable dust!

Genesis 3:19 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.

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