Thou shalt come to [thy] grave in a full age
Or, "go into thy grave" F15, which is represented as a house to enter into and dwell in; and so the wise man calls it man's long home, and Job his house, and which is appointed for all living, ( Ecclesiastes 12:5 ) ( Job 17:13 ) ( 30:23 ) ; for all men must die, and so come to the grave, good men as well as bad, the righteous and the wicked: this is not to be understood literally, for the dead cannot go or come to their graves, but are carried thither, as Stephen was, and all are; but it denotes their willingness to die, who choose to be absent from the body, that they may be present with the Lord, and are desirous to depart this world, and be with him, as the Apostle Paul was; and therefore cheerfully give up the ghost, and resign their souls into the hands of Christ, desiring him to receive them; and rejoice when they observe the grave is near, and ready for them; while others have their souls demanded and required of them, and are forced to death and the grave against their wills, and are driven away in their wickedness: now this, with respect to good men, is said to be "in a full age", not "in abundance", as the Vulgate Latin version, in an abundance or fulness of wealth and honour, and with great pomp and splendour, which is not the case of all good men, but of very few; nor in the full time which God has determined and appointed men should live, which may be called "the fulness of time"; for in this every man comes to the grave, good and bad, young and old; no man dies before or lives beyond it, see ( Job 14:5 ) but in the full age of men or the common term of man's life; the highest which he usually attains unto, which is threescore years and ten, and at most fourscore, ( Psalms 90:10 ) ; and such who die before this are said to die before their time, the usual term of life; who die before the midst of this, are said not to live out half their days, ( Ecclesiastes 7:17 ) ( Psalms 55:23 ) ; but he that arrives to this dies in a good old age, and has filled up his days, which men, at most, ordinarily live: Mr. Broughton renders it, "in lusty old age", enjoying great health, strength, and vigour; and so Nachmanides takes the word to be compounded of (k) , "as", and (xl) , "moist", lively, strong, and lusty; as if the sense was, that Job should die indeed in old age, but, when old, be as hearty as a young man in his full strength, and whose bones are moistened with marrow; as was the case of Moses, whose eyes were not dim, nor his natural force or radical moisture abated, ( Deuteronomy 34:7 ) ; but the word denotes extreme decrepit old age F16, coming from the root in the Arabic language, which signifies to be of an austere, rugged, wrinkled, contracted countenance F17, which is usually the case of old men: now this is to be understood, not as if every good than arrives to such an age, or that none but good men do; for certain it is, that some good persons, as Abijah, die in their youth, and many wicked men live to a great age, see ( Ecclesiastes 7:15 ) ; but Eliphaz here speaks suitably to the legal dispensation under which he was, in which temporal blessings were promised to good men, as shadows of spiritual things, and this of long life was a principal one, see ( Psalms 91:16 ) ( Ephesians 6:2 Ephesians 6:3 ) ; this is illustrated by the following simile:
like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season;
there is a very great resemblance between ripe corn and old age; corn, when it is in its full ear, and ripe, its ears will hang down; the stalks, being dry and withered, are weak, and not able to bear the weight of them; so old men stoop, their knees bend, the strong men bow themselves, being unable to bear the weight of the body; fields of corn, ripe for the harvest, look white, and so the hairs of a man's head in old age; the almond tree flourishes, which, when in full bloom, is a lively emblem of the hoary head: and there is a great likeness between ripe corn, and shocks and sheaves of it, and a good old man; a good man is comparable to a corn of wheat that falls into the ground, to which Christ compares himself, ( John 12:24 ) ; and to wheat the compares his saints, ( Matthew 13:30 ) ; for their choiceness, excellency, purity, and solidity; and these, like a corn of wheat, grow up gradually in grace, in spiritual light, knowledge, faith, and experience, and at length come to maturity; the good work is performed and perfected in them, and they come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; and then they are cut down with the scythe or sickle of death, which is the proper time, like corn "in his season"; which, if cut before it is ripe, would not be fit for use, and, if it stood longer, would shed and come to nothing: and then, as corn, when cut down and reaped, is put up in shocks and sheaves, which are lifted up from the earth, and made to "ascend", as the word F18 signifies, and are laid in carts and wagons, and carried home with expressions of joy, (hence we read of the joy of harvest,) and are laid up in the barn or granary; so the saints are carried by angels, the reapers, into Abraham's bosom, as Lazarus was, into heaven, and as all the elect will be gathered by the angels at the harvest, the end of the world; attended with their shouts and acclamations, and with expressions of joy from Gospel ministers, who now go forth bearing the precious seed of the word, and sow it in tears, but then shall return with joy, bringing their sheaves with them, see ( Matthew 13:30 Matthew 13:39 ) ( 24:31 ) ( Psalms 126:5 Psalms 126:6 ) ( 1 Thessalonians 2:19 1 Thessalonians 2:20 ) .
F15 (rbq yla-awbt) "ingredieris in sepulchrum", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Drusius, Michaelis; "intrabis ad tumulum", Schultens.
F16 (xlkb) "in summa senectute", Michaelis; "in decrepita senectue", Schultens.
F18 (twlek) "sicut ascendere", Montanus, Bolducius, Schmidt, Michaelis; "sicut ascendit", Pagninus, Mercerus.