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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Ecclesiastes 12

 

 

Verse 1

now = also.

Creator. Plural of Majesty = the [great] Creator, or a reference to the Trinity.

evil days = days of the misfortune: i.e. affliction and death. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44. i.e. the days described in following verses.

pleasure. See note on Ecclesiastes 3:1.


Verse 3

keepers of the house: i.e. the arms of the body.

house. The human body is often compared to a house (Isaiah 38:12. Job 4:19. 2 Corinthians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 5:2; 2 Peter 1:13).

tremble. Occurs only here, Esther 5:9 ("move"), and Habakkuk 2:7 ("vex"). See App-76.

the strong men:. i.e. the legs. Hebrew. geber. App-14.

the grinders: i.e. the teeth.

cease = fail, or become unfit for use. Hebrew. batal = a passage; probably = the ear-passage. Occurs only in Solomon"s writings. Here, Ecclesiastes 12:5, Proverbs 7:8, and Song of Solomon 3:2 (plural)

those that look out of the windows: i.e. eyes ("those" is feminine, agreeing with Hebrew "eyes").

windows = lattices = the eyelids.

darkened = dimmed.


Verse 4

the doors = the openings: i.e. the mouth and ears.

streets = street (singular)

sound of the grinding is low: i.e. the mastication with gums instead of teeth is low.

rise up = start: referring to insomnia.

the daughters of musick: i.e. songs, &c, the product of music.


Verse 5

afraid: i.e. of ascending heights.

high = lofty, elevated.

fears shall be in the way: i.e. apprehensions of danger in journeying.

almond tree shall flourish: i.e. grey hairs shall grow scanty, or drop off, not "almond nuts be rejected"; for the teeth and eating have already been dealt with in Ecclesiastes 12:3.

grasshopper, or locust.

shall be a burden = shall become burdensome: i.e. as to weight.

desire shall fail. "Desire" = Hebrew = the caperberry. Here the Authorized Version beautifully renders the figure of speech (as a version should do), while the Revised Version renders it literally (as a translation too often does). The Figure of speech is Metalepsis: i.e. a double Metonymy (App-6), by which (1) the "caperberry" is put for the condiment made from it, and then (2) thecondiment is put for the appetite produced by it. And further, since, because of its shape, as well as from the notion that it was supposed to create sexual desire, all that is intended by the figure is included in the rendering "desire shall fail".

man. Hebrew. "ddam (with Art). App-14. See note on Ecclesiastes 1:13.


Verse 6

Or, &c. New figures now (in Ecclesiastes 12:6) introduced, referring to the arrival (Structure, above) of death itself.

the silver cord: i.e. the spinal cord.

the golden bowl: i.e. the head, or skull.

pitcher: the failure of the heart.

the wheel. On which the bucket is brought up by a rope from the cistern, or well.


Verse 7

dust. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, put for the body which is made of dust (Genesis 2:7; Genesis 3:19. Psalms 104:29. Job 34:15, Job 34:16).

as it was. Note the reference to Adam"s creation.

spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9. Not nephesh, soul (App-13).

return unto God. Hence He is said to be the God of the spirits of all flesh (Numbers 16:22; Numbers 27:16. Compare Luke 23:46. Acts 7:59); "the Father of spirits" (Hebrews 12:9).

God. Hebrew. Elohim.(with Art.) = the (true or triune) God; the Deity. App-4. Concerning where the dead are, for us to assume any further than what is said here (Ecclesiastes 12:7) is no more than mere speculation.


Verse 11

The words of the wise. See notes on p. 864, and App-7.

nails. These were built into a wall, because Eastern walls were too hard or too soft for them to be hammered in. fastened = planted. Masculine, while "nails" is feminine: but the Accent unite the two words. The verb nata" is found again only in Ecclesiastes 3:2, where it is singular.

by the masters = [are] the lords, or rulers. ba"al.

one shepherd. The Inspirer. See Genesis 48:15; Genesis 49:24. Psalms 23:1.


Verse 12

And further = Beyond these. Note the Structure above.


Verse 13

the conclusion. See note on "the end", Ecclesiastes 3:11.

God. Hebrew. "eth ha-"Elohim = the [true and only] God; the great Creator, who throughout the book is put in contrast with man (Hebrew. "adam. App-14.) the creature. App-4.


Verse 14

secret = hidden.

evil. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.


 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 12:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ecclesiastes-12.html. 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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