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Ecclesiastes 12:6 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern,
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [Remember Him] before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Or ever the silver cord shall be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— —before the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be shattered at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken,—or the bucket by the fountain be shivered, or the wheel at the well be broken;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— While that the silver cord is not removed, And the golden bowl broken, And the pitcher broken by the fountain, And the wheel broken at the well.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Before the silver cord be broken, and the golden fillet shrink back, and the pitcher be crushed at the fountain, and the wheel be broken upon the cistern,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Or euer the siluer corde be loosed, or the golden bowle be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountaine, or the wheele broken at the cisterne.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— before the silver cord be [let go], or the choice gold be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel run down to the cistern;
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Or x5704
(5704) Complement
עַד
`ad
{ad}
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).
ever 3808
{3808} Prime
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
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 silver 3701
{3701} Prime
כֶּסֶף
keceph
{keh'-sef}
From H3700; silver (from its pale color); by implication money.
cord 2256
{2256} Prime
חֶבֶל
chebel
{kheh'-bel}
From H2254; a rope (as twisted), especially a measuring line; by implication a district or inheritance (as measured); or a noose (as of cords); figuratively a company (as if tied together); also a throe (especially of parturition); also ruin.
be loosed, 7368
{7368} Prime
רָחַק
rachaq
{raw-khak'}
A primitive root; to widen (in any direction), that is, (intransitively) recede or (transitively) remove (literally or figuratively, of place or relation).
z8735
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
y7576
[7576] Standard
רָתַק
rathaq
{raw-thak'}
A primitive root; to fasten.
z8675
<8675> Grammar
Kethiv Reading

Where the translators of the Authorised Version followed the qere reading rather than the kethiv.
or the golden 2091
{2091} Prime
זָהָב
zahab
{zaw-hawb'}
From an unused root meaning to shimmer; gold; figuratively something gold colored (that is, yellow), as oil, a clear sky.
bowl 1543
{1543} Prime
גֻּלָּה
gullah
{gool-law'}
Feminine from H1556; a fountain, bowl or globe (all as round).
be broken, 7533
{7533} Prime
רָצַץ
ratsats
{raw-tsats'}
A primitive root; to crack in pieces, literally or figuratively.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
or the pitcher 3537
{3537} Prime
כַּד
kad
{kad}
From an unused root meaning to deepen; properly a pail; but generally of earthenware; a jar for domestic purposes.
be broken 7665
{7665} Prime
שָׁבַר
shabar
{shaw-bar'}
A primitive root; to burst (literally or figuratively).
z8735
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
at x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the fountain, 4002
{4002} Prime
מַבּוּעַ
mabbuwa`
{mab-boo'-ah}
From H5042; a fountain.
or the wheel 1534
{1534} Prime
גַּלְגַּל
galgal
{gal-gal'}
By reduplication from H1556; a wheel; by analogy a whirlwind; also dust (as whirled).
broken 7533
{7533} Prime
רָצַץ
ratsats
{raw-tsats'}
A primitive root; to crack in pieces, literally or figuratively.
z8738
<8738> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 1429
at x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
the cistern. 953
{0953} Prime
בּוֹר
bowr
{bore}
From H0952 (in the sense of H0877); a pit hole (especially one used as a cistern or prison).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ecclesiastes 12:6

_ _ A double image to represent death, as in Ecclesiastes 12:1-5, old age: (1) A lamp of frail material, but gilded over, often in the East hung from roofs by a cord of silk and silver interwoven; as the lamp is dashed down and broken, when the cord breaks, so man at death; the golden bowl of the lamp answers to the skull, which, from the vital preciousness of its contents, may be called “golden”; “the silver cord” is the spinal marrow, which is white and precious as silver, and is attached to the brain. (2) A fountain, from which water is drawn by a pitcher let down by a rope wound round a wheel; as, when the pitcher and wheel are broken, water can no more be drawn, so life ceases when the vital energies are gone. The “fountain” may mean the right ventricle of the heart; the “cistern,” the left; the pitcher, the veins; the wheel, the aorta, or great artery [Smith]. The circulation of the blood, whether known or not to Solomon, seems to be implied in the language put by the Holy Ghost into his mouth. This gloomy picture of old age applies to those who have not “remembered their Creator in youth.” They have none of the consolations of God, which they might have obtained in youth; it is now too late to seek them. A good old age is a blessing to the godly (Genesis 15:15; Job 5:26; Proverbs 16:31; Proverbs 20:29).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Ecclesiastes 12:1-7.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ecclesiastes 12:6

The silver cord — By the silver cord he seems to understand the marrow of the back — bone, which comes from the brain, and goes down to the lowest end of it. And this is aptly compared to a cord, both for its figure, which is long and round, and for its use, which is to draw and move the parts of the body; and to silver, both for its excellency and colour, which is white and bright, in a dead, much more in a living body. This may properly be said to be loosed, or dissolved, because it is relaxed, or otherwise disabled for its proper service. And answerably hereto by the golden bowl we may understand, the membranes of the brain, and especially that inmost membrane which insinuates itself into all the parts of it, following it in its various windings, keeping each parcel of it in its proper place, and dividing one from another, to prevent disorder. This is not unfitly called a bowl, because It is round, and contains in it all the substance of the brain; and a golden bowl, partly for its great preciousness, partly for its ductility, being drawn out into a great thinness or fineness; and partly for its colour, which is some — what yellow, and comes nearer to that of gold than any other part of the body does. And this, upon the approach of death, is commonly shrivelled up, and many times broken. and as these clauses concern the brain, and the animal powers, so the two following respect the spring of the vital powers, and of the blood, the great instrument thereof is the heart. And so Solomon here describes the chief organs appointed for the production, distribution, and circulation of the blood. For tho' the circulation of the blood has been hid for many generations, yet it was well known to Solomon. According to this notion, the fountain is the right ventricle of the heart, which is now acknowledged to be the spring of life; and the pitcher is the veins which convey the blood from it to other parts, and especially that arterious vein by which it is transmitted to the lungs, and thence to the left ventricle, where it is better elaborated, and then thrust out into the great artery, called the Aorta, and by its branches dispersed into all the parts of the body. And the cistern is the left ventricle of the heart, and the wheel seems to be the great artery, which is fitly so called, because it is the great instrument of this circulation. The pitcher may be said to be broken at the fountain, when the veins do not return the blood to the heart, but suffer it to stand still and cool, whence comes that coldness of the outward parts, which is a near fore — runner of death. And the wheel may be said to be broken at the cistern, when the great arteries do not perform their office of conveying the blood into the left ventricle of the heart, and of thrusting it out thence into the lesser arteries, whence comes that ceasing of the pulse, which is a certain sign of approaching death.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ecclesiastes 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.

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