Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return with[a] the rain; 3 in the day when the guards of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the women who grind cease working because they are few, and those who look through the windows see dimly; 4 when the doors on the street are shut, and the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low; 5 when one is afraid of heights, and terrors are in the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along[b] and desire fails; because all must go to their eternal home, and the mourners will go about the streets; 6 before the silver cord is snapped,[c] and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath[d] returns to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher;[e] all is vanity.
9 Besides being wise, the Teacher[f] also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs. 10 The Teacher[g] sought to find pleasing words, and he wrote words of truth plainly.
11 The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd.[h] 12 Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including[i] every secret thing, whether good or evil.
a. Ecclesiastes 12:2 Or after; Heb ‘ahar
b. Ecclesiastes 12:5 Or is a burden
c. Ecclesiastes 12:6 Syr Vg Compare Gk: Heb is removed
d. Ecclesiastes 12:7 Or the spirit
e. Ecclesiastes 12:8 Qoheleth, traditionally rendered Preacher
f. Ecclesiastes 12:9 Qoheleth, traditionally rendered Preacher
g. Ecclesiastes 12:10 Qoheleth, traditionally rendered Preacher
h. Ecclesiastes 12:11 Meaning of Heb uncertain
i. Ecclesiastes 12:14 Or into the judgment on
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.