The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
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Augustine of Hippo
9. "For all our days are failed, and in Thine anger we have failed" (ver. 9). These words sufficiently prove that our subjection to death is a punishment. He speaks of our days failing, either because men fail in them from loving things that pass away, or because they are reduced to so small a number; which he asserts in the following lines: "our years are spent in thought like a spider." "The days of our age are threescore years and ten; and though men be so strong that they come to fourscore years, yet is more of them but labour and sorrow" (ver. 10). These words appear to express the shortness and misery of this life: since those who have reached their seventieth year are styled old men. Up to eighty, however, they appear to have some strength; but if they live beyond this, their existence is laborious through multiplied sorrows. Yet many even below the age of seventy experience an old age the most infirm and wretched: and old men have often been found to be wonderfully vigorous eve...
In them. Years, (Calmet) "in the world. "Chaldean, "altogether. "Symmachus, years. This was the usual term of man's life in David's time, (Haydock) and about the captivity, when this was written. Many lived above one hundred years when Moses wrote. (Calmet)
Yet this proves nothing, as there are still instances of equal longevity, though it is true, that people in general seldom live above seventy, or eighty, or if they do, their days are a burden to them. The same might be the case under Moses. He probably here alludes to those warriors, who were cut off in the wilderness, few of whom would survive 80. (Berthier)
The author of Ecclesiasticus, (xviii. 8.) gives one hundred, for the utmost limits of life. The pagan sages speak in the same style as the psalmist. (Calmet)
Strong. Septuagint, "in dominion. "But here it means in a vigorous constitution. (Bellarmine)
Princes lived no longer than others. Hebrew and Vulgate may be "the prime, or most of them "as even a great part of the tim...