Ecclesiastes 12:5
Parallel Verses
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
Clarke'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

the almond

Genesis 42:38 And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone...

Genesis 44:29,31 And if you take this also from me, and mischief befall him, you shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave...

Leviticus 19:32 You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD.

Job 15:10 With us are both the gray headed and very aged men, much elder than your father.

Psalm 71:18 Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed your strength to this generation...

Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

Proverbs 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.

Isaiah 46:4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry...

Jeremiah 1:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what see you? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.


Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave...

Job 17:13 If I wait, the grave is my house: I have made my bed in the darkness.

Job 30:23 For I know that you will bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.

Psalm 49:10-14 For he sees that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others...

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment:

the mourners

Genesis 50:3-10 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed...

Jeremiah 9:17-20 Thus said the LORD of hosts, Consider you, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women...

Mark 5:38,39 And he comes to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and sees the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly...

The 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
John Van Nest Talmage was born at Somerville, New Jersey, August 18, 1819 He was the fourth son in a family of seven brothers and five sisters. The roots of the Talmage genealogical tree may be traced back to the year 1630, when Enos and Thomas Talmage, the progenitors of the Talmage family in North America, landed at Charlestown, Massachusetts, and afterwards settled at East Hampton, Long Island. Dr. Lyman Beecher represents the first settlers of East Hampton as "men resolute, enterprising, acquainted
Rev. John Gerardus Fagg—Forty Years in South China

A Prayer when one Begins to be Sick.
O most righteous Judge, yet in Jesus Christ my gracious Father! I, wretched sinner, do here return unto thee, though driven with pain and sickness, like the prodigal child with want and hunger. I acknowledge that this sickness and pain comes not by blind chance or fortune, but by thy divine providence and special appointment. It is the stroke of thy heavy hand, which my sins have justly deserved; and the things that I feared are now fallen upon me (Job iii. 25.) Yet do I well perceive that in wrath
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Solomon's Repentance
Twice during Solomon's reign the Lord had appeared to him with words of approval and counsel--in the night vision at Gibeon, when the promise of wisdom, riches, and honor was accompanied by an admonition to remain humble and obedient; and after the dedication of the temple, when once more the Lord exhorted him to faithfulness. Plain were the admonitions, wonderful the promises, given to Solomon; yet of him who in circumstances, in character, and in life seemed abundantly fitted to heed the charge
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Genesis 50:10
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.

Job 17:13
If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness,

Job 30:23
I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living.

Jeremiah 9:17
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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