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Ecclesiastes 12:2 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, are not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, be darkened, and the clouds return after the rain;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Or ever be darkened—the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars,—and the clouds return after a downpour of rain;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— While that the sun is not darkened, and the light, And the moon, and the stars, And the thick clouds returned after the rain.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars be darkened, and the clouds return after the rain:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— While the Sunne, or the light, or the moone, or the starres be not darkened, nor the cloudes returne after the raine:
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— While the sun and light are not darkened, nor the moon and the stars; nor the clouds return after the rain:
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
While x5704
(5704) Complement
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
the sun, 8121
{8121} Prime
From an unused root meaning to be brilliant; the sun; by implication the east; figuratively a ray, that is, (architecturally) a notched battlement.
or the light, 216
{0216} Prime
From H0215; illumination or (concretely) luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.).
or the moon, 3394
{3394} Prime
From the same as H3391; the moon.
or the stars, 3556
{3556} Prime
Probably from the same as H3522 (in the sense of rolling) or H3554 (in the sense of blazing); a star (as round or as shining); figuratively a prince.
be not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
darkened, 2821
{2821} Prime
A primitive root; to be dark (as withholding light); transitively to darken.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
nor the clouds 5645
{5645} Prime
Masculine and feminine; from H5743; properly an envelope, that is, darkness (or density, 2 Chronicles 4:17); specifically a (scud) cloud; also a copse.
return 7725
{7725} Prime
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
after 310
{0310} Prime
From H0309; properly the hind part; generally used as an adverb or conjugation, after (in various senses).
the rain: 1653
{1653} Prime
From H1652; a shower.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ecclesiastes 12:2

_ _ Illustrating “the evil days” (Jeremiah 13:16). “Light,” “sun,” etc., express prosperity; “darkness,” pain and calamity (Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 30:26).

_ _ clouds ... after ... rain — After rain sunshine (comfort) might be looked for, but only a brief glimpse of it is given, and the gloomy clouds (pains) return.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Ecclesiastes 12:1-7.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ecclesiastes 12:2

Which — Heb. While the sun, and the light, and the moon, &c. That clause, and the light, seems to be added to signify that he speaks of the darkening of the sun, and moon, and stars; not in themselves, but only in respect of that light which they afford to men. And therefore the same clause which is expressed after the sun, is to be understood after the moon and stars. And those expressions may be understood of the outward parts of the body, and especially of the face, the beauty of the countenance, the pleasant complexion of the cheeks, the liveliness of the eyes, which are compared to the sun, and moon, and stars, and which are obscured in old age, as the Chaldee paraphrast understands it. Or of external things, of the change of their joy, which they had in their youth, into sorrow, and manifold calamities, which are usually the companions of old age. This interpretation agrees both with the foregoing verse, in which he describes the miseries of old age, and with the following clause, which is added to explain those otherwise ambiguous expressions; and with the scripture use of this phrase; for a state of comfort and happiness is often described by the light of the sun, and a state of trouble is set forth, by the darkening of the light of the sun. Nor the clouds — This phrase denotes a perpetual succession of rain, and clouds bringing rain, and then rain and clouds again. Whereby he expresses either the rheums or destructions which incessantly flow in old men; or the continual vicissitude of infirmities, diseases, and griefs; one deep calling upon another.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ecclesiastes 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.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the sun:

Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 Truly the light [is] sweet, and a pleasant [thing it is] for the eyes to behold the sun: ... But if a man live many years, [and] rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh [is] vanity.
Genesis 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, [here am] I.
Genesis 48:10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, [so that] he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.
1 Samuel 3:2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli [was] laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, [that] he could not see;
1 Samuel 4:15 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see.
1 Samuel 4:18 And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.


Psalms 42:7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
Psalms 71:20 [Thou], which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
Psalms 77:16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.
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Gn 27:1; 48:10. 1S 3:2; 4:15, 18. Ps 42:7; 71:20; 77:16. Ec 11:7.

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