New International Version
when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
King James Bible
Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
Darby Bible Translation
they are also afraid of what is high, and terrors are in the way, and the almond is despised, and the grasshopper is a burden, and the caper-berry is without effect; (for man goeth to his age-long home, and the mourners go about the streets;)
World English Bible
yes, they shall be afraid of heights, and terrors will be in the way; and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goes to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets:
Young's Literal Translation
Also of that which is high they are afraid, And of the low places in the way, And the almond-tree is despised, And the grasshopper is become a burden, And want is increased, For man is going unto his home age-during, And the mourners have gone round through the street.
Ecclesiastes 12:5 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
When they shall be afraid of that which is high -
10. Being so feeble, they are afraid to trust themselves to ascend steps, stairs, etc., without help. And when they look upwards, their heads turn giddy, and they are ready to fall.
11. Fears shall be in the way - They dare not walk out, lest they should meet some danger, which they have not strength to repel, nor agility to escape. A second childishness has taken place - apprehensions, fears, terrors, and weakness.
12. The almond tree shall flourish - ינאץ yenaets, not flourish, but fall off. The hair begins to change, first gray, then white; it having no longer that supply of nutritive juices which it once had, this animal vegetable withers and falls off. The almond tree, having white flowers, is a fit emblem of a hoary head; or as Hasselquist says, who observed the tree in full flower in Judea, "like an old man with his white locks."
13. The grasshopper shall be a burden - Even such an inconsiderable thing as a locust, or a very small insect, shall be deemed burdensome, their strength is so exceedingly diminished. In cases of the gout, especially in old men, the shadow of a person passing by puts them to acute pain! How much less can they bear the smallest pressure! But probably the words refer to the man himself, who, bent at the loins, and his arms hanging down, exhibits some caricature of the animal in question. The poor grasshopper has become a burden to himself. Another interpretation has been given of the grasshopper; but I pass it by as impertinent and contemptible; such commentators appear as if they wished to render the text ridiculous.
14. Desire shall fail - Both relish and appetite for food, even the most delicate, that to which they were formerly so much attached, now fails. The teeth are no longer able to masticate the food, or have all dropped out; the stomach no longer able to digest any thing; and, as the body is no longer capable of receiving nourishment, appetite and relish necessarily fail.
15. Because man goeth to his long home - אל בית עולמו el beith olamo, "to the house of his age;" the place destined to receive him, when the whole race or course of life shall be finished; for עולם olam takes in the whole course or duration of a thing; if applied to a dispensation, such as the Law, it takes in its whole duration; to the life of man, it takes in the whole life; to time, it includes its whole compass; to eternity, it expresses its infinite duration. So old age terminates the olam, the complete duration of human life; and when life is no longer desired, and nutrition ceases, the olam of man is terminated. My old MS. Bible translates it, The hous of his everlastingness.
16. He is just departing into the invisible world; and this is known by the mourners going abount the streets, the long hollow groans and throat rattlings which proceed from him; the sure prognostications of the extreme debility and speedy cessation of those essential animal functions next mentioned.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryThe Conclusion of the Matter
'Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 2. While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain; 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, 4. And the doors shall be shut in …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Ancestral Home
A Prayer when one Begins to be Sick.
When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father.
If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness,
I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them.
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