Ecclesiastes 12 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Ecclesiastes 12)
12:2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, are not darkened, nor the a clouds return after the rain:

(a) Before you come to a continual misery: for when the clouds remain after the rain, man's grief is increased.

12:3 In the day when the b keepers of the house shall tremble, and the c strong men shall bow themselves, and the d grinders cease because they are few, and those that e look out of the windows shall be darkened,

(b) The hands which keep the body.
(c) The legs.
(d) The teeth.
(e) The eyes.

12:4 And the f doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the g grinding shall be low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the h bird, and all the i daughters of music shall be brought low;

(f) The lips or mouth.
(g) When the jaws will scarce open and not be able to chew any more.
(h) He will not be able to sleep.
(i) That is the wind pipes or the ears will be deaf and not able to hear singing.

12:5 Also [when] they shall be afraid of [that which is] k high, and fears [shall be] in the l way, and the almond tree shall m flourish, and the n grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

(k) To climb high because of their weakness, or they stoop down as though they were afraid lest anything should hide them.
(l) They will tremble as they go, as though they were afraid.
(m) Their head will be as white as the blossoms of an almond tree.
(n) They will be able to bear nothing.

12:6 Or ever the o silver cord shall be loosed, or the golden p bowl be broken, or the q pitcher be broken at the r fountain, or the s wheel broken at the t cistern.

(o) Meaning, the marrow of the backbone and the sinews.
(p) The little skin that covers the brain, which is in colour like gold.
(q) That is, the veins.
(r) Meaning the liver.
(s) Which is the head.
(t) That is, the heart out of which the head draws the powers of life.

12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the u spirit shall return to God who gave it.

(u) The soul unconsciously goes either to joy or torment, and sleeps not as the wicked imagine.

12:11 The words of the wise [are] as goads, and as nails x fastened [by] the masters of assemblies, [which] are given from one y shepherd.

(x) Which are well applied by the ministers, whom he calls masters.
(y) That is by God.

12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many z books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh.

(z) These things cannot be comprehended in books or learned by study, but God must instruct your heart that you may only know that wisdom is the true happiness and the way to it is to fear God.