E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Golden Bowl is Broken (The).
Death has supervened.
Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.Ecclesiastes xii. 6, 7.
Remember thy Creator:
before the silver cord of health is loosed by sickness;
before the golden bowl of manly strength has been broken up;
before the pitcher or body, which contains the spirit, has been broken up;