Ecclesiastes 3:21 (ESV)

21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

We should notice how Ecclesiastes makes it clear at the beginning of this verse how limited the wisdom is that does not look beyond this life. This wisdom is from someone who looks at life without taking God's revelation into account.

Solomon shows that he is looking beyond the here and now. He knows the Word of God. He believes that even though man's body is consumed, man's soul goes to another place. The soul, the breath, the personality of a person rises at his death. Man continues to exist. The Preacher points this out very emphatically when he writes in the last chapter of his book about man who dies: the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

The breath of the animals is gone forever when they die. Their existence disappears completely into the dust. That is not the case with humans. A person lives on, either under God's judgment in hell, or at peace with him in heaven and then on the new earth (see Daniel 12:2; John 5:28–29). God judges! The Preacher confesses his faith in the Lord!