Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish…
In January, Palestine is adorned with the blossoming of the almond-tree. It breathes its life into that winter month as a promise of God sometimes lightens up and sweetens the coldness and desolation of a sorrowing spirit. When the almond-tree was in full bloom, it must have looked like some tree before our window on a winter's morning, after a nightfall of snow, when its brightness is almost insufferable, every stem a white and feathery plume. Now you are ready to see the meaning of the text. Solomon was giving a full-length portrait of an aged man. By striking figures of speech, he sets forth his trembling and decrepitude, and then comes to describe the whiteness of his locks by the blossoming of the almond. tree. It is the master-touch of the picture, for I see in that one sentence not only the appearance of the hair, but an announcement of the beauty of old age. The white locks of a bad man are but the gathered frosts of the second death, but "a hoary head is a crown of glory" if it be found in the way of righteousness. There may be no colour in the cheek, no lustre in the eye, no spring in the step, no firmness in the voice, and yet around the head of every old man whose life has been upright and Christian there hovers a glory brighter than ever shook in the white tops of the almond-tree. If the voice quiver, it is because God is changing it into a tone fit for the celestial choral. If the hand tremble, it is because God is unloosing it from worldly disappointments to clasp it on ringing harp and waving palm. If the hair has turned, it is only the grey light of heaven's dawn streaming through the scant locks. The falling of this aged Christian's staff will be the signal for the heavenly gate to swing open. The scattering of the almond blossoms will only discover the setting of the fruit.
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
WEB: yes, they shall be afraid of heights, and terrors will be in the way; and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goes to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets: