Ecclesiastes 12:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly.

King James Bible
And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

Darby Bible Translation
and the doors are shut toward the street; when the sound of the grinding is subdued, and they rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low;

World English Bible
and the doors shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

Young's Literal Translation
And doors have been shut in the street. When the noise of the grinding is low, And one riseth at the voice of the bird, And all daughters of song are bowed down.

Ecclesiastes 12:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And the doors ... is low - The house is viewed from without. The way of entry and exit is stopped: little or no sound issues forth to tell of life stirring within. The old man, as he grows older, has less in common with the rising generation; mutual interest and social contact decline. Some take the doors and the sound of the mill as figures of the lips and ears and of the speech.

He shall rise ... - Here the metaphor of the house passes out of sight. The verb may either be taken impersonally ( "they shall rise," compare the next verse): or as definitely referring to an old man, who as the master of the house rises out of sleep at the first sound in the morning.

All the daughters of musick - i. e., Singing women Ecclesiastes 2:8.

Be brought low - i. e., Sound faintly in the ears of old age.

Ecclesiastes 12:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Circumstances and Consequences
And fears shall be in the way.' (Ecclesiastes xii. 5.) The man who wrote these words was specially emphasizing the importance of settling one's relationships to the great Creator before the coming of days when infirmities increase, and decay of natural powers sets in. The practical outcome of that thought is, that postponement only adds to one's difficulties when the battle really has to be fought. Amongst those difficulties the sacred writer places that natural foreboding, physical shrinking
T. H. Howard—Standards of Life and Service

Obedience to God the Way to Faith in Christ.
"When Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, He said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God."--Mark xii. 34. The answer of the scribe, which our blessed Lord here commends, was occasioned by Christ's setting before him the two great commandments of the Law. When He had declared the love of God and of man to comprehend our whole duty, the scribe said, "Master, Thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but He: and to love Him with all the heart, and with
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII

The Christian Man
Scripture references: Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7; 9:6; Job 33:4; Psalm 100:3; 8:4-9; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Acts 17:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:7; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Hebrews 2:6,7; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Corinthians 2:9. WHAT IS MAN? What Shall We Think of Man?--Who is he? What is his place on the earth and in the universe? What is his destiny? He is of necessity an object of thought. He is the subject of natural laws, instincts and passions. How far is he free; how far bound?
Henry T. Sell—Studies in the Life of the Christian

The Heavenly Footman; Or, a Description of the Man that Gets to Heaven:
TOGETHER WITH THE WAY HE RUNS IN, THE MARKS HE GOES BY; ALSO, SOME DIRECTIONS HOW TO RUN SO AS TO OBTAIN. 'And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain: escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.'--Genesis 19:17. London: Printed for John Marshall, at the Bible in Gracechurch Street, 1698. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. About forty years ago a gentleman, in whose company I had commenced my
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Cross References
Revelation 18:22
"And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer;

2 Samuel 19:35
"I am now eighty years old. Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?

Isaiah 47:2
"Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, strip off the skirt, Uncover the leg, cross the rivers.

Jeremiah 25:10
'Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.

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