Ecclesiastes 3:5

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to cast away stones, and A time to gather stones together,.... To cast stones out of a field or vineyard where they are hurtful, and to gather them together to make walls and fences of, or build houses with; and may be understood both of throwing down buildings, as the temple of Jerusalem, so that not one stone was left upon another; of pouring out the stones of the sanctuary, and of gathering them again and laying them on one another; which was done when the servants of the Lord took pleasure in the stones of Zion, and favoured the dust thereof. Some understand this of precious stones, and of casting them away through luxury, wantonness, or contempt, and gathering them again: and it may be applied, as to the neglect of the Gentiles for a long time, and the gathering of those stones of which children were raised to Abraham; so of the casting away of the Jews for their rejection of the Messiah, and of the gathering of them again by conversion, when they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign on his land, Zechariah 9:16;

A time to embrace, and A time to refrain from embracing: or "to be far from" {g} it; it may not only design conjugal embraces {h}, but parents embracing their children, as Jacob did his; and one brother embracing another, as Esau Jacob, and one friend embracing another; all which is very proper and agreeable at times: but there are some seasons so very calamitous and distressing, in which persons are obliged to drop such fondnesses: it is true, in a spiritual sense, of the embraces of Christ and believers, which sometimes are, and sometimes are not, enjoyed, Proverbs 4:8.

{g} qxrl te "tempus elongandi se", Pagninus, Montanus; "tempus longe fieri", V. L.
{h} "Optatos dedit amplexus", Virgil. Aeneid. 8. v. 405.