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ESV — Ecclesiastes 12

Remember Your Creator in Your Youth

12 Remember also your Creator in vthe days of your youth, before wthe evil days come and the years draw near of which xyou will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before ythe sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and zthose who look through the windows are dimmed, and athe doors on the street are shut—when bthe sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all cthe daughters of song are brought low—they are afraid also of what is high, and dterrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,1 and desire fails, because man is going to his eeternal fhome, and the gmourners go about the streets—before the silver cord is snapped, or hthe golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is ishattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and jthe dust returns to the earth as it was, and kthe spirit returns to God lwho gave it. mVanity2 of vanities, says nthe Preacher; all is vanity.

Fear God and Keep His Commandments

Besides being wise, nthe Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging omany proverbs with great care. 10 nThe Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.

11 pThe words of the wise are like goads, and like qnails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are rgiven by sone Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making umany books there is no end, and vmuch study is a weariness of the flesh.

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. wFear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.3 14 For xGod will bring every deed into judgment, with4 every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Footnotes

[1] 12:5 Or is a burden
[2] 12:8 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (three times in this verse); see note on 1:2
[3] 12:13 Or the duty of all mankind
[4] 12:14 Or into the judgment on