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;
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
CommentaryKeil 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:
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and put darkness on your land, declares the Lord GOD.
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.