What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?
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Augustine of Hippo
10. "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" (ver. 4). It may be asked, what distinction there is between man and son of man. For if there were none, it would not be expressed thus, "man, or son of man," disjunctively. For if it were written thus, "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him, and son of man, that Thou visitest him?" it might appear to be a repetition of the word "man." But now when the expression is, "man or son of-man," a distinction is more clearly intimated. This is certainly to be remembered, that every son of man is a man; although every man cannot be taken to be a son of man. Adam, for instance, was a man, but not a son of man. Wherefore we may from hence consider and distinguish what is the difference in this place between man and son of man; namely, that they who bear the image of the earthy man, who is not a son of man, should be signified by the name of men; but that they who bear the image of the heavenly Man shou...
Him. The prophet considers the nature of man at such a distance from the divinity. Being, nevertheless, united with it in Jesus Christ, it is raised far above the angels, Hebrews ii. 6. (Berthier)
When we reflect on the meanness of our nature, on the one hand, and on what God has done for it on the other, we are lost in astonishment. The pagans were aware of the corporal infirmities of man, (Seneca Consol. xi.) but not of his spiritual disorders. Hebrew has here, the son of Adam, or one of the lowest class; and not of ish, which means a person of nobility, vir, Psalm iv. 4. (Calmet)
Yet Christ applies to himself the former appellation, to show us a pattern of humility. (Haydock)
St. Augustine inquires, what difference there is between man or the son. The Hebrew v, means, likewise, and; yet or would have been better, Exodus xxi. 16.
"Whether he have sold him, or he be in his hand. "(Amama)