12Remember 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; 2before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return with* the rain; 3on 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; 4when 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; 5when one is afraid of heights, and terrors are in the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along* and desire fails; because all must go to their eternal home, and the mourners will go about the streets; 6before the silver cord is snapped,* and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern, 7and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath* returns to God who gave it. 8Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher;* all is vanity.
9 Besides being wise, the Teacher* also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs. 10The Teacher* 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.* 12Of 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. 14For God will bring every deed into judgement, including* every secret thing, whether good or evil.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by 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.
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10 February 2011