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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Ecclesiastes 12:3

    CHAPTERS: Ecclesiastes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14




    King James Bible - Ecclesiastes 12:3

    In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

    World English Bible

    in the
    day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look out of the windows are darkened,

    Douay-Rheims - Ecclesiastes 12:3

    When the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong
    men shall stagger, and the grinders shall be idle in a small number, and they that look through the holes shall be darkened:

    Webster's Bible Translation

    In the
    day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows shall be darkened,

    Original Hebrew

    3117 שׁיזעו 2111 שׁמרי 8104 הבית 1004 והתעותו 5791 אנשׁי 376 החיל 2428 ובטלו 988 הטחנות 2912 כי 3588 מעטו 4592 וחשׁכו 2821 הראות 7200 בארבות׃ 699

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (3) -
    2Sa 21:15-17 Ps 90:9,10; 102:23 Zec 8:4

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 12:3

    cuando temblarán los guardas de la casa, y se encorvarán los hombres fuertes, y cesarán las muelas, porque han disminuido, y se oscurecerán los que miran por las ventanas;

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Ecclesiastes 12:3

    Verse 3. In the
    day when the keepers of the house - The BODY of man is here compared to a HOUSE: - mark the metaphors and their propriety.

    1. The keepers shall tremble-the hands become paralytic, as is constantly the case, less or more, in old age.

    2. The strong men shall bow - The legs become feeble, and unable to support the weight of the body.

    3. The grinders cease because they are few - The teeth decayed and mostly lost; the few that remain being incapable of properly masticating hard substances or animal food. And so they cease; for soft or pulpy substances, which are requisite then, require little or no mastication; and these aliments become their ordinary food.

    4. Those that look out of the windows - The optic nerves, which receive impressions, through the medium of the different humours of the eye, from surrounding objects-they are darkened; the humours becoming thick, flat, and turbid, they are no longer capable of transmitting those images in that clear, distinct manner, as formerly.

    There may be an allusion here to the pupil of the eye. Look into it, and you will see your own image in extreme minature looking out upon you; and hence it has its name pupillus, a little child, from pupus, a baby, a doll; because the image in the eye resembles such.

    The optic nerve being seated at the bottom of the eye, has the images of surrounding objects painted upon it; it looks out through the different humours. The different membranes and humours which compose the eye, and serve for vision, are, the tunica conjunctiva, the tunica sclerotica, the cornea, the iris, the pupil, the choroides, and the retina. The iris is perforated to admit the rays of light, and is called the pupil; the retina is a diffusion of the optic nerve in the bottom of the eye, on which the images are painted or impressed that give us the sensation we term sight or vision. All these membranes, humours, and nerves, are more or less impaired, thickened, or rendered opaque, by old age, expressed by the metaphor, "Those that look out of the windows are darkened."

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 3. In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble , etc.] By the “house” is meant the human body; which is a house of clay, the earthly house of our tabernacle, in which the soul dwells, ( Job 4:19) ( <470501> Corinthians 5:1). The Targum interprets the keepers of the house, of the knees and the trembling of them; but the Midrash and Jarchi, much better, of the ribs; man being fenced with bones and sinews, as Job says, ( Job 10:11); though trembling cannot be well ascribed to them, they being so fixed to the backbone: rather therefore, as Aben Ezra, the hands and arms are meant; which work for the maintenance of the body, and feed it with food, got and prepared by them; and which protect and defend it from injuries; for all which they are fitted, and made strong by the God of nature. The Arabic version renders it, “both keepers”; and, doubtless, respects both hands and arms; and which, in old age, are not only wrinkled, contracted, and stiff, but attended with numbness, pains, and tremor.

    Some, not amiss, take in the head; which is placed as a watchtower over the body, the seat of the senses; which overlooks, guards, and keeps it, and which often through paralytic disorders, and even the weakness of old age, is attended with a shaking; and the strong men shall bow themselves ; it is strange the Targum and Midrash should interpret this of the arms, designed in the former clause; Jarchi and Aben Ezra, more rightly, of the thighs; it takes in thighs, legs, and feet, which are the basis and support of the human body; and are strengthened for this purpose, having stronger muscles and tendons than any other parts of the body; but these, as old age comes on, are weakened and distorted, and bend under the weight of the body, not being able, without assistance, to sustain it; and the grinders cease because they are few ; the Targum is, “the teeth of the mouth:” all agree the teeth are meant; only the Midrash takes in the stomach also, which, like a mill, grinds the food. There are three sorts of teeth; the fore teeth, which bite the food, and are called “incisores”: the eye teeth, called “canini”, which bruise and break the food; and the double teeth, the hindermost, which are called “dentes molares”, the grinding teeth; and which being placed in the upper and nether jaw, are like to millstones, broad and rough, and rub against each other and grind the food, and prepare it for the stomach: these, in old age, rot and drop out, and become few and straggling, one here and another there; and, not being over against each other, are of no use, but rather troublesome; and those that look out of the windows be darkened ; the eyes, as the Targum and Ben Melech; and all agree that those that look out are the eyes, or the visive rays: the “windows” they look through are not spectacles; for it is questionable whether they were in use in Solomon’s time, and, however, they are not parts of the house; but either the holes in which the eyes are, and so the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it, to which the Targum agrees, paraphrasing it, the strong bounds of the head; and which are no other than what oculists call the orbits of the eye: or else the eyelids, which open and shut like the casement of a window, and through which, being opened, the eyes look; or the humours of the eye, the watery, crystalline, and glassy, which are transparent, and through which the visive rays pass; or the tunics, or coats of the eye, particularly the “tunica aranea” and “cornea”; as also the optic nerves, and especially the “pupilla”, or apple of the eye, which is perforated or bored for this purpose: now these, in old age, become weak, or dim, or thick, or contracted, or obstructed by some means or another by which the sight is greatly hindered, and is a very uncomfortable circumstance; this was Isaac’s case, ( Genesis 27:1); but Moses is an exception to the common case of old men, ( Deuteronomy 34:7).

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    A description of the infirmities of age. (Eccl. 12:1-7) All is vanity also a warning of the judgment to come. (Eccl. 12:8-14)

    Eccl. 12:1-7 We should remember our sins against our Creator, repent and seek forgiveness. We should remember our duties, and set abou them, looking to him for grace and strength. This should be done early while the body is strong, and the spirits active. When a man has the pain of reviewing a misspent life, his not having given up sin an worldly vanities till he is forced to say, I have no pleasure in them renders his sincerity very questionable. Then follows a figurativ description of old age and its infirmities, which has some difficulties; but the meaning is plain, to show how uncomfortable generally, the days of old age are. As the four verses, 2-5, are figurative description of the infirmities that usually accompany ol age, Eccl. 12:6 notices the circumstances which take place in the hou of death. If sin had not entered into the world, these infirmitie would not have been known. Surely then the aged should reflect on the evil of sin.

    Eccl. 12:8-14 Solomon repeats his text, VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL I VANITY. These are the words of one that could speak by dear-bough experience of the vanity of the world, which can do nothing to ease me of the burden of sin. As he considered the worth of souls, he gave goo heed to what he spake and wrote; words of truth will always be acceptable words. The truths of God are as goads to such as are dul and draw back, and nails to such as are wandering and draw aside; mean to establish the heart, that we may never sit loose to our duty, nor be taken from it. The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom Teachers and guides all receive their communications from him. The title is applied in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God The prophets sought diligently, what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. To write man books was not suited to the shortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer, and to the reader; and then was much more s to both than it is now. All things would be vanity and vexation, excep they led to this conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child. The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practica results in the life. Let us attend to the one thing needful, and no come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almight Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifes the counsels of all hearts. Why does God record in his word, that AL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man __________________________________________________________________

    Original Hebrew

    ביום 3117 שׁיזעו 2111 שׁמרי 8104 הבית 1004 והתעותו 5791 אנשׁי 376 החיל 2428 ובטלו 988 הטחנות 2912 כי 3588 מעטו 4592 וחשׁכו 2821 הראות 7200 בארבות׃ 699

    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14


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