Psalms 102:26 AV
They shall perish, but thou shalt endure:
yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment;
as a vesture shalt thou change them,
and they shall be changed
New International Version
They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.
New Living Translation
They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them.
English Standard Version
They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
Berean Study Bible
They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing You will change them, and they will be passed on.
New American Standard Bible
“Even they will perish, but You endure; All of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing You will change them and they will pass away.
Good News Translation
They will disappear, but you will remain; they will all wear out like clothes. You will discard them like clothes, and they will vanish.
JPS Tanakh 1917
They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure; Yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; As a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall pass away;
Literal Standard Version
They perish, and You remain, And all of them become old as a garment, You change them as clothing, And they are changed.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment.
You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed; but You remain the same, and Your years will never end.”
2 Peter 3:10
But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and its works will be laid bare.
Then I saw a great white throne and the One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them.
All the stars of heaven will be dissolved. The skies will be rolled up like a scroll, and all their stars will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like foliage from the fig tree.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on a scale and the hills with a balance?
This is what God the LORD says–He who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and its offspring, who gives breath to the people on it and life to those who walk in it:
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth below; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and its people will die like gnats. But My salvation will last forever, and My righteousness will never fail.
Though the mountains may be removed and the hills may be shaken, My loving devotion will not depart from you, and My covenant of peace will not be broken,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
This is the burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. Thus declares the LORD, who stretches out the heavens and lays the foundation of the earth, who forms the spirit of man within him:
x O x
Compared with man, the victim of incessant change and visible decay, the fixed earth and the uplifted mountains are often employed as symbols of endurance and perpetuity, but compared with God’s eternal existence, they are but like a vesture that wears out.
The source of the image is Isaiah 51:6. (Comp. Isaiah 34:4.) For the use made of the passage in Hebrews 1:10, 12,
The terms employed for “garment” and “vesture” are synonyms for the outer cloak worn by the Jews. The imagery of the text no doubt supplied Goethe with the thought in his fine lines
“‘Tis thus at the roaring loom of time I ply,
And weave for God the garment thou seest Him by!”
Which in turn suggested to Carlyle the “Philosophy of Clothes.”
“Why multiply instances? It is written, the heavens and the earth shall fade away like a vesture, which, indeed they are — the time vesture of the Eternal.”Sartor Resartus, I. 11
It is interesting to think how the science of geology confirms the image of the psalmist, showing how time has been literally changing the so solid-seeming earth, stripping off the robe that covers the hills, to fold it down at some river mouth, or at the bottom of the ocean bed.
x O x
They shall perish.
The coming destruction of the world that now is, is very frequently declared in Holy Scripture (see Isaiah 51:6, 65:17; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; 2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12).
But thou shalt endure.
With the perishable nature of the whole material creation, the psalmist contrasts the absolute eternity of God (compare Psalms 102:12; also Psalm 9:7; Hebrews 1:11).
Yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment (compare Isaiah 51:6).
As a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. Compare the prophecies of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Isaiah 55:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).
x O x
They shall perish
Both the heavens and the earth, though so well founded, and so firmly made; they shall be dissolved, melt, and pass away; not as to the substance, but as to the quality of them: or, as R. Judah Ben David says, whom Aben Ezra on the place cites, and calls the first grammarian in the west, not as to generals, but as to particulars
But thou shalt endure;
As the eternal God, from everlasting to everlasting; and, even as man, he will die no more; and, as Mediator, will ever remain;
▪︎ He will be King for ever;
▪︎ His throne is for ever and ever;
▪︎ His kingdom is an everlasting one;
▪︎ He is a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek;
▪︎ His sacrifice is of an eternal efficacy,
▪︎ And he ever lives to make intercession for his people;
▪︎ He will always continue, as the Prophet, in his church, to teach by his Spirit, word, and ordinances, in the present state; and hereafter will be the light of the New Jerusalem, and of His saints, for ever
All of them shall wax old like a garment
Not only the heavens, which are as a curtain and garment about the earth, but the earth itself, ( Isaiah 51:6 ) , will lose their beauty and glory, and become useless, as to the present form of them.
As a vesture shall thou change them, and they shall be changed;
As to their form, as a garment that is turned or folded up, and laid aside, as to present use: this seems to favor the above sense given, that the earth and heavens will not perish, as to the substance of them; but as to their form, figure, fashion, and scheme; and as to the qualities of them, all noxious ones being purged away by fire, the curse removed, and new heavens and new earth arise out of them.
x O x
They shall perish
If heaven and earth perish, much more man will perish;
But the Church by reason of Gods promise endures forever.
x O x
They shall perish, but thou shalt endure.
The power which made them shall dissolve them, even as the city of His love was destroyed at His command; yet neither the ruined city nor the ruined earth can make a change in Him, reverse His purpose, or diminish His glory. God standest when all things fall.
All of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.
Time impairs all things, the fashion becomes obsolete and passes away. The visible creation, which is like the garment of the invisible God, is waxing old and wearing out, and our great King is not so poor that he must always wear the same robes; He will ere long fold up the worlds and put them aside as worn out vestures, and He will array Himself in new attire, making a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
How readily will all this be done. “He will change them and they will be changed;” as in the creation so in the restoration, omnipotence shall work its way without hindrance.
x O x
Explanatory notes and quaint sayings
They shall perish
The greater the corruption, the vaster the destruction. Some think that the fiery deluge shall ascend no higher than did the watery. It may be the earth shall be burned, that is the worst guest at the table, the common sewer of all other creatures,
But shall the heavens pass away?
It may be the airy heaven; but shall the starry heaven where God hath printed such figures of his glory?
Yes, caelum, elementurn, terra, when ignis ubique ferox ruptis regnabit habenis.
The former deluge is called the world’s winter, the next the world’s summer.
The one was with a cold and moist element, the other shall be with an element hot and dry.
But what then shall become of the saints?
They shall be delivered out of all; walking like those three servants in the midst of that great furnace, the burning world, and not be scorched, because there is one among them to deliver them, “the Son of God,” Daniel 3:25 , their Redeemer.
But shall all quite perish?
No, there is rather a mutation than an abolition of their substance. Thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed, not abolished.
The concupiscence shall pass, not the essence; the form, not the nature. In the altering of an old garment, we destroy it not, but trim it, refresh it, and make it seem new.
They pass, they do not perish; the dross is purged, the metal stays.
The corrupt quality shall be renewed, and all things restored to that original beauty wherein they were created.
“The end of all things is at hand,” 1 Peter 4:7 : an end of us, an end of our days, an end of our ways, and end of our thoughts. If a man could say as Job’s messenger, I alone am escaped, it were somewhat; or might find an ark with Noah. But there is no ark to defend them from that heat, but only the bosom of Jesus Christ.
— Thomas Adams.
Like a garment.
The whole creation is as a garment, wherein the Lord shows His power clothed unto men; whence in particular he is said to clothe himself with light as with a garment. And in it is the hiding of his power.
Hid it is, as a man is hid with a garment; not that he should not be seen at all, but that he should not be seen perfectly and as he is. It shows the man, and he is known by it; but also it hides him, that he is not perfectly or fully seen. So are the works of creation unto God, he so far makes them his garment or clothing as in them to give out some instances of his power and wisdom; but he is also hid in them, in that by them no creature can come to the full and perfect knowledge of him.
Now, when this work shall cease, and God shall unclothe or unveil all His glory to his saints, and they shall know him perfectly, see Him as He is, so far as a created nature is capable of that comprehension, then will He lay them aside and fold them up, at least as to that use, as easily as a man lays aside a garment that He will wear or use no more. This lies in the metaphor.
— John Owen.
Hints for pastors and laypersons
▪︎ How far God may change — only in his garments, or outward manifestations of creation and providence.
▪︎ Wherein he cannot change — his nature, attributes, covenant, love, etc.
▪︎ The comfortable truths which may be safely inferred, or which gather support from this fact.
x O x
The material universe of God.
▪︎ No more to him than a garment to the wearer.
▪︎ Ever waxing old, but he the same.
▪︎ Soon to be changed and left to perish, but of his years no end.
Our relation to each
▪︎ Let us never love the dress more than the wearer.
▪︎ Nor trust more in the changeful than in the abiding.
▪︎ Nor live for that which will die out.
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