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Ecclesiastes 12:4

    Ecclesiastes 12:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and the doors shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    When the doors are shut in the street, and the sound of the crushing is low, and the voice of the bird is soft, and the daughters of music will be made low;

    Webster's Revision

    and the doors shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

    World English Bible

    and the doors shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and the door shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

    Clarke's Commentary on Ecclesiastes 12:4

    And the doors shall be shut in the streets -

    5. The doors - the lips, which are the doors by which the mouth is closed.

    6. Be shut in the streets - The cavities of the cheeks and jaws, through which the food may be said to travel before it is fitted by mastication or chewing to go down the aesophagus into the stomach. The doors or lips are shut to hinder the food in chewing from dropping out; as the teeth, which prevented that before, are now lost.

    7. The sound of the grinding is low - Little noise is now made in eating, because the teeth are either lost, or become so infirm as not to nsuffer their being pressed close together; and the mouth being kept shut to hinder the food from dropping out, the sound in eating is scarcely heard. The teeth are divided into three kinds: -

    1. The dentes incisores, or cutting teeth, in the front of the jaw.

    2. The dentes canini, or dog teeth, those in the sides of the jaws, for gnawing, or tearing and separating hard or tough substances. And,

    3. Dentes molares, or grinding teeth, the posterior or double teeth, in both jaws, generally termed the grinders; because their office is to grind down the substances that have been cut by the fore teeth, separated into their parts or fibres by the dog teeth, and thus prepare it for digestion in the stomach.

    8. He shall rise up at the voice of the bird - His sleep is not sound as it used to be; he slumbers rather than sleeps; and the crowing of the cock awakes him. And so much difficulty does he find to respire while in bed, that he is glad of the dawn to rise up and get some relief. The chirping ot the sparrow is sufficient to awake him.

    9. All the daughters of music shall be brought low - The Voice, that wonderful instrument, almost endless in the strength and variety of its tones, becomes feeble and squeaking, and merriment and pleasure are no more. The tones emitted are all of the querulous or mournful kind.

    Barnes' Notes on Ecclesiastes 12:4

    And the doors ... is low - The house is viewed from without. The way of entry and exit is stopped: little or no sound issues forth to tell of life stirring within. The old man, as he grows older, has less in common with the rising generation; mutual interest and social contact decline. Some take the doors and the sound of the mill as figures of the lips and ears and of the speech.

    He shall rise ... - Here the metaphor of the house passes out of sight. The verb may either be taken impersonally ( "they shall rise," compare the next verse): or as definitely referring to an old man, who as the master of the house rises out of sleep at the first sound in the morning.

    All the daughters of musick - i. e., Singing women Ecclesiastes 2:8.

    Be brought low - i. e., Sound faintly in the ears of old age.

    Wesley's Notes on Ecclesiastes 12:4

    12:4 In - Or, towards the streets: which lead into the streets. This may be understood either of the outward senses, which, as doors, let in outward objects to the soul: or rather the mouth, the two lips, here expressed by a word of the dual number, which like a door, open or shut the way that leads into the streets or common passages of the body; which also are principal instruments both of speaking and eating. And these are said to be shut, not absolutely, but comparatively, because men in old age grow dull and listless, having little appetite to eat, and are very frequently indisposed for discourse. When the sound - When the teeth are loose and few, whereby both his speech is low, and the noise which he makes in eating is but small. Shall rise - From his bed, being weary with lying, and unable to get sleep. The bird - As soon as the birds begin to chirp, which is early in the morning, whereas young men, can lie and sleep long. The daughters - All those senses which are employed in music. Brought low - Shall be cast down from their former excellency, and become incapable either of making musick, or of delighting in it.