- First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi
- Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
- Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Hebrews 12:1-3
- Bible Commentaries
First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MississippiThis pericope expands the ideas Solomon introduced in Ecclesiastesby focusing on advancing old age and death. Again, Solomon began with a clear statement of his point, and then proceeded to prove and illustrate its truth in the verses that follow. Ecclesiastes ; Ecclesiastes ; Deuteronomy ; Psalm Ecclesiastes ; Genesis ; Genesis The "evil days" are the days of old age and death cf. Ecclesiastes ; Ecclesiastes Solomon likened the evil days first to an approaching rainstorm Ecclesiastes that is fearful and uncertain cf. Ecclesiastes The Hebrews regarded any decline in a person"s vital energy as a sign that death was beginning to set in cf. The "watchmen of the house" Ecclesiastes probably refer to one"s arms and hands, and the "mighty men" to the legs. The "grinding ones" are probably the teeth, and "those who look through windows" the eyes. Ecclesiastes are full of figures of speech that picture old age and death. Aged individuals become more fearful of heights, traffic, and travel. The "almond tree" blossoms white like the hair of an old person. An elderly person is less sprightly in his or her movements. The "caperberry," apparently an appetite stimulant, not an aphrodisiac, [Note: Delitzsch, p The text should read "and desire fails," which gives the same meaning. Man"s "dark house" rather than "eternal home" is a reference to the grave-Sheol. Solomon described the end of life first as the extinguishing of a light. The "golden bowl" is a bowl that holds a flame. When the "silver cord" that holds it breaks, the bowl crashes to the floor and the light goes out. Gold and silver express the great value of life. The "wording gives us a picture of the ruined apparatus plus the wheel as they have crashed down into the old cistern. So man breaks down and falls into a pit also. Leupold, Exposition of Ecclesiastesp Whereas the first figure emphasizes the value of life, this one stresses its fragile nature. The pitcher would have been clay. This verse describes the reversal of the process by which God originally created man Genesis ; cf. Job ; Psalm All human work Ecclesiastes to Ecclesiastes and wisdom Ecclesiastes to Ecclesiastes are ultimately ephemeral i. In conclusion, Solomon repeated his original thesis Ecclesiastes ; cf.
Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Hebrews 12:1-3
Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw near, when you shall say, I have no pleasure in them. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. MacLaren's Expositions. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary. Barnes' Notes on the Bible. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary. Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible. Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Here it is in the plural, like the Divine name Elohim. See also Note on Ecclesiastes It has been a devious path. He has announced many provisional conclusions, which are not intended for ultimate truths, but rather represent the progress of the soul towards the final, sufficient ground and object of belief and aim of all life, even God Himself. Its completion lies in being driven, by recognising vanity as stamped on all creatures, to clasp the one reality. Take the rest of the book as the autobiography of a seeker after reality, and this last section as his declaration of where he had found it, and all the previous parts fall into their right places. Our passage omits the first portion of the closing section, which is needed in order to set the counsel to remember the Creator in its right relation. There the young are exhorted to enjoy the bright, brief blossom-time of their youth, withal keeping the consciousness of responsibility for its employment. In earlier parts of the book similar advice had been given, but based on different grounds. Here religion and full enjoyment of youthful buoyancy and delight in fresh, unhackneyed, homely pleasures are proclaimed to be perfectly compatible. The Preacher had no idea that a devout young man or woman was to avoid pleasures natural to their age. Therefore he brings side by side with these advices the other of our passage. That possible combination of hearty, youthful glee and true religion is the all-important lesson of this passage. The word for Creator is in the plural number, according to the Hebrew idiom, which thereby expresses supremacy or excellence. It is folly to forget Him on whom we depend for being; it is ingratitude to forget, in the midst of the enjoyments of our bright, early days, Him to whom we owe them all. The advice is specially needed; for youth has so much, that is delightful in its novelty, to think about, and the world, on both its innocent and its sinful side, appeals to it so strongly, that the Creator is only too apt to be crowded out of view by His works. The temptation of the young is to live in the present. Reflection belongs to older heads; spontaneous action is more characteristic of youth. Therefore, they specially need to make efforts to bring clearly to their thoughts both the unseen future and Him who is invisible. The advice is specially suitable for them; for what is begun early is likely to last and be strong. It is hard for older men, stiffened into habits, and with less power and love of taking to new courses, to turn to God, if they have forgotten Him in early days.