Behold, you have made my days as a handbreadth; and my age is as nothing before you: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
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Augustine of Hippo
9. "Behold, thou hast made my days old" (ver. 5). For these days are "waxing old." I long for new days "that never shall wax old," that I may say, "Old things have passed away; behold, things are become new." Already new in hope; then in reality. For though, in hope and in faith, made new already, how much do we even now do after our old nature! For we are not so completely "clothed upon" with Christ, as not to bear about with us anything derived from Adam. Observe that Adam is "waxing old" within us, and Christ is being "renewed" in us. "Though our outward man is perishing, yet is our inward man being renewed day by day." Therefore, while we fix our thoughts on sin, on mortality, on time, that is hastening by, on sorrow, and toil, and labour, on stages of life following each other in succession, and continuing not, passing on insensibly from infancy even to old age; whilst, I say, we fix our eyes on these things, let us see here "the old man," the "day that is waxing old;" the Song th...
Measurable. Hebrew, "of a hand's breadth. "(Haydock)
Symmachus, "a spithame, or twelve fingers' breadth "perhaps in allusion to the Greek proverb, a "spithame of life "which denotes one very short. (Drusius)
The Greek copies vary: some read, (Calmet) with the Vatican palaias, "ancient "and others of the palestra with the Alexandrian palaistas, or "contentious. "I am obliged always to wrestle with my adversaries. (Grotius)
My days are short, and spent in conflicts. (Haydock)
St. Chrysostom, St. Ambrose, mention both. The former word is adopted by the Arabic, Ethiopic; but the Hebrew has tephachoth, "of a palm "or four fingers' breadth; (Calmet) and St. Jerome breves, "short. "(Haydock)
Substance. St. Jerome, "life. "Hebrew, "age. "
Living. Hebrew, "standing "how well soever he may seem to be established. Protestants, "at his best estate, is altogether vanity. Selah. "(Haydock)
The wisest of men confirms this at large, Ecclesiastes i. 1. (Calmet) (James iv. 14.)
"What is this long...