[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 63, Issue 20

Ron Snider sarasotapt at comcast.net
Mon Mar 24 14:55:26 EDT 2008

The text points to a poetic description of the problems of old age.  The 
context is set by verse one, which tells his younger audience to 
remember the Creator while they are young,   Verse 2 appears to be a 
poetic way of saying that you should remember your creator before your 
life is spent.  The sun, moon, and stars  not giving their light would 
appear to them being spent, just as the cloud disappears after it has 
spent itself in the rain storm.

The verses that follow deal with the following IMHO:
The watchmen that tremble--the shaky hands of old age.
The mighty men stoop--the legs losing their strength.
The grinding ones idle because they are few--the loss of teeth.
Those who look through the windows being dim--loss of eyesight.
The doors shut and sound being low--loss of hearing.
One waking early at the sound of the bird--Sleeping less and not as soundly.
Daughters of song singing softly--weakness of the voice.
Fear of terrors--the natural increase of fear (you ought to watch the 
retired drivers here in Sarasota...some are afraid to hardly move.)
The almond tree blossom--the hair turning white in old age.
The grasshopper dragging a burden--the intevitable stiffness and slow 
down accompanied by aging.
The caperberry is ineffective--loss of taste, the caperberry was used 
as  seasoning for food.

The following deal with the things that happen at the point of death and 

The silver cord being broken may refer to the place where the soul is 
interfaced with the body..likely somewhere in the higher brain stem, at 
the top of the spinal cord.
The golden bowl being broken--loss of brain activity.
The pitcher by the well--the loss of circulation at death, the blood 
stops flowing
The wheel at the cistern is crushed--loss of heart function, the pump 
stops beating.
Dust returning to ground--decay of the corpse after death.
The spirit returns to God--the soul of the believer delivered into God's 

I am currently teaching this book, it is a real challenge, and have not 
done these verses exegetically as of yet, but feel pretty comfortable 
with the interpretation.

Ron Snider,

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