Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knows it not: yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he knows not.
Among the reminders and remonstrances which it was the mission of the prophet, the son of Beeri, in the days of Ahaz and Hezekiah, to deliver to Ephraim, there was this significant passage, expressive of a reckless people's unconscious decline, whose lapses were taken account of on high, and Ephraim knew it not — "Yea, grey hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not." Who, asks Hartley Coleridge, ever saw their first grey hairs, or marked the crow feet at the angle of the eyes, without a sigh or a tear, a momentaneous self-abasement, a sudden sinking of the soul, a thought that youth is fled for ever? "None but the blessed few that, having dedicated the spring of their life to heaven, behold in the shedding of their vernal blossoms a promise that the season of immortal fruit is near." Grey hairs, in an advancing stage of the plural number, may be here and there upon us before we know of it. But the actual discovery of the first is a bit of an epoch in one's life; and if one exclaims, Eureka! it is hardly in the most jubilant of tones, or the most exultant of tempers. It is among the graver of his recreations that a clerical essayist pictures to himself, man or woman, thoughtful, earnest, and pious, sitting down and musing at the sight of the first grey hairs. Here is the slight shadow, he puts it, of "a certain great event which is to come"; the earliest touch of a chili hand that must prevail at length. Here is manifest decay; we have begun to die.
(Francis Jacox, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.