Ecclesiastes 12:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain,

King James Bible
While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

American Standard Version
before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars be darkened, and the clouds return after the rain:

English Revised Version
or ever the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, be darkened, and the clouds return after the rain:

Webster's Bible Translation
While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, are not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

Ecclesiastes 12:2 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"In the morning sow thy seed, and towards evening withdraw not thine hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether both together shall well succeed." The cultivation of the land is the prototype of all labour (Genesis 2:15), and sowing is therefore an emblem of all activity in one's pursuit; this general meaning for ידך ... אל־ (like Ecclesiastes 7:18; synon. with ידך ... אל־, Joshua 10:6, of the older language) is to be accepted. The parallel word to babokěr is not ba'ěTrěv; for the cessation from work (Judges 19:16; Psalm 104:23) must not be excluded, but incessant labour (cf. Luke 9:62) must be continued until the evening. And as Ecclesiastes 11:2 counsels that one should not make his success depend exclusively on one enterprise, but should divide that which he has to dispose of, and at the same time make manifold trials; so here also we have the reason for restless activity of manifold labour from morning till evening: success or failure (Ecclesiastes 5:5) is in the hand of God, - man knows not which (quid, here, according to the sense, utrum) will prosper, whether (ה) this or (או) that, and whether (אמו), etc.; vid., regarding the three-membered disjunctive question, Ewald, 361; and regarding keěhhad, it is in common use in the more modern language, as e.g., also in the last benediction of the Shemone-Esra: כאחד ... ברכנו, "bless us, our Father, us all together." שׁניהם goes back to the two זה, understood neut. (as at Ecclesiastes 7:18; cf. on the contrary, Ecclesiastes 6:5). The lxx rightly: καὶ ἐὰν (better: εἴτε) τὰ δύο επὶτὸ αυτὸ ἀγατηά. Luther, who translates: "and if both together it shall be better," has been misled by Jerome.

The proverb now following shows its connection with the preceding by the copula vav. "The tendency of the advice in Ecclesiastes 11:1, Ecclesiastes 11:2, Ecclesiastes 11:6, to secure guarantees for life, is justified in Ecclesiastes 11:7 : life is beautiful, and worthy of being cared for." Thus Hitzig; but the connection is simpler. It is in the spirit of the whole book that, along with the call to earnest activity, there should be the call to the pleasant enjoyment of life: he who faithfully labours has a right to enjoy his life; and this joy of life, based on fidelity to one's calling, and consecrated by the fear of God, is the most real and the highest enjoyment here below. In this sense the fruere vita here connects itself with the labora:

Ecclesiastes 12:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the sun

Ecclesiastes 11:7,8 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun...

Genesis 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his oldest son...

Genesis 48:10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near to him; and he kissed them...

1 Samuel 3:2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

1 Samuel 4:15,18 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see...


Psalm 42:7 Deep calls to deep at the noise of your waterspouts: all your waves and your billows are gone over me.

Psalm 71:20 You, which have showed me great and sore troubles, shall quicken me again, and shall bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

Psalm 77:16 The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.

Cross References
Matthew 24:29
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Psalm 90:10
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.

Isaiah 5:30
They will growl over it on that day, like the growling of the sea. And if one looks to the land, behold, darkness and distress; and the light is darkened by its clouds.

Isaiah 13:10
For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.

Ezekiel 32:7
When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light.

Ezekiel 32:8
All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and put darkness on your land, declares the Lord GOD.

Joel 3:15
The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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