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   In the Bible (Ecclesiastes 12:1-5) some details about getting old are expressed as metaphors.

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Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,

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before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say,

I find no pleasure in them”–

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before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark,

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and the clouds return with the rain;

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when the keepers of the house tremble [hands]

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and the strong men stoop [legs],

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[Use the DOOR for more.]

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[MORE]

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when the grinders cease because they are few [teeth],

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and those looking through the windows grow dim

    [eyes];

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when doors to the street are closed [isolation]

 

and the sound of grinding fades [loss of strength,

    work];

 

when men rise up at the sound of birds [insomnia],

 

but all their songs grow faint [hearing];

 

when men are afraid of heights

 

and of dangers in the streets [fear];

 

when the almond tree blossoms [white hair]

 

and the grasshopper drags himself along [ungainly walk]

 

and desire is no longer stirred [impotence].

 

Then man goes to his eternal home

 

and mourners go about the streets [death].¹

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   The literal, or “natural-appearing,” way to interpret the Bible is usually what most are looking for. But at times metaphor is the better (if not the only) way to say what needs to said. Here’s one such example.

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   ¹ This was taken from p. 19 of Tim Stafford’s As Our Years Increase: Loving, Caring, Preparing for Life Past 65. We have mentioned this book before and will do so again. This is the NIV translation of the Bible.