Ecclesiastes 12

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Solomon advised readers to serve God at all stages of life. Ecclesiastes concludes with the meaning of life.

Ecclesiastes 12 Outline

Remember God throughout life
In your youth
In your old age
Before you die
Life is fleeting
About the author
Fear God and keep His commandments.

Afflictions of the Elderly

Solomon depicted the infirmities of old age. The symbols in Ecclesiastes 12:2-5 present the effects of age-related physical decay.

  1. Keepers of the house tremble: Arthritis in hands.
  2. Strong men stoop: Legs weakened.
  3. Grinders cease: Tooth decay and loss.
  4. Windows grow dim: Vision deteriorates.
  5. Doors in streets shut: Hearing loss.
  6. Sound of grinding is low: Hearing or tooth loss.
  7. Arise at sound of a bird: Insomnia and sleep disorders.
  8. Daughters of music sing softly: Deterioration of voice.
  9. Fear of high places: Age-related vertigo.
  10. Terrors on the road: Fear of leaving home.
  11. Almond tree blossoms: White hair.
  12. Grasshopper drags himself: Back pain or loss of energy.
  13. Caperberry is ineffective: Loss of sexual desire. The ripe fruit of the caper was considered an aphrodisiac.

Finality of Death

Before death occurs, Solomon advised us to remember God. Solomon used four figures to portray the finality of death. If interpreted from an anatomical perspective, these 4 figures are as follows:

  1. The “silver cord” may be a spinal cord.
  2. The “golden bowl” a skull.
  3. The “pitcher” a heart.
  4. And the “wheel” possibly a pelvis.

Whether figurative or literal, these analogies depict the total destruction of valuable objects. Death is final.


Seize opportunities to serve God. Man’s all, the entirety of man, is to fear God and keep his commandments. We were created “for good works” (Ephesians 2:10).

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