19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
ESV - 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.
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Some commentaries on this verse that I have read state that Solomon was speaking from the perspective of one "under the sun" -- that is, from a naturalistic point of view, apart from divine revelation. That accounts for the apparent denial of an afterlife of the disembodied soul. (However, other theological writers take this verse as supporting a view that there is no afterlife until the resurrection at the close of the age.) I personally would recommend the book Journey Out of Time by the late Dr. Arthur C. Custance (which is fully viewable at no charge online) for a sound discussion of this subject.
According to the Scriptures, all living creatures received life from God the same way and are subject to the same fate (Gen 2:7, 19; 7:15). Both human and beast "have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts (Eccl 3:19). And since humans and beasts have one breath, they also die the same way. Both humans and animals were created from dust and when they die they return again to dust; the reverse of Creation process (Gen 3:19). Paul tells that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" which gives confidence that all Bible is God’s word “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16 NKJV). In light of this knowledge, the only logical interpretation for Ecclesiastes 3:19 is that man’s fate is the same as that of animals - doctrine collaborated by other Bible texts indicating that humans, just as animals, were not created with immortal souls (Gen 2:16-17; 3:22, 24 Rom 6:23) “We should learn to view our death in the right light, so that we need not become alarmed on account of it, as unbelief does; because in Christ it is indeed not death, but a fine, sweet and brief sleep, which brings us release from this vale of tears, from sin and from the fear and extremity of real death and from all the misfortunes of this life, and we shall be secure and without care, rest sweetly and gently for a brief moment, as on a sofa, until the time when he shall call and awaken us together with all his dear children to his eternal glory and joy.” Martin Luther (1493-1546) - A Compend of Luther's Theology, Hugh Thomson Ker, Jr., p. 242.
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