Ecclesiastes 12

The Twilight of Life

1So remember your Creator in the days of your youth:

Before the days of adversity come,
and the years approach when you will say, a
“I have no delight in them”;
2 before the sun and the light are darkened, b
and the moon and the stars,
and the clouds return after
Or with
the rain;
3 on the day when the guardians of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
the women who grind cease because they are few,
and the ones who watch through the windows see dimly, d
4 the doors at the street are shut
while the sound of the mill fades; e
when one rises at the sound of a bird,
and all the daughters of song grow faint.
5 Also, they are afraid of heights and dangers on the road;
the almond tree blossoms,
the grasshopper loses its spring,
Or grasshopper is weighed down, or grasshopper drags itself along

and the caper berry has no effect;
for man is headed to his eternal home, g
and mourners will walk around in the street; h
6 before the silver cord is snapped,
Alt Hb tradition reads removed

and the gold bowl is broken, j
and the jar is shattered at the spring,
and the wheel is broken into the well;
7 and the dust returns to the earth as it once was,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it. k

8“Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Everything is futile.” l

The Teacher’s Objectives and Conclusion

9 In addition to the Teacher being a wise man, he constantly taught the
people: Literally sons of man or sons of Adam
people knowledge; he weighed, explored, and arranged many proverbs. n
10The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and write words of truth accurately. 11The sayings of the wise are like goads, o and those from masters of collections are like firmly embedded nails. p The sayings are given by one Shepherd.
Or by a shepherd

12But beyond these, my son, be warned: there is no end to the making of many books, r and much study wearies the body. s 13When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is:
fear(s) God or the Lord/ the fear of the Lord: No single English word conveys every aspect of the word fear in this phrase. The meaning includes worshipful submission, reverential awe, and obedient respect to the covenant-keeping God of Israel.
fear God u and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity. v
14 For God will bring every act to judgment, w including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.
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