12 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”— 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; 4 when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; 5 when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, 7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.[a] “Everything is meaningless!”
The Conclusion of the Matter
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd.[b]12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine. 3 Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you! 4 Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers.
We rejoice and delight in you[b]; we will praise your love more than wine.
How right they are to adore you!
5 Dark am I, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon.[c] 6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I had to neglect. 7 Tell me, you whom I love, where you graze your flock and where you rest your sheep at midday. Why should I be like a veiled woman beside the flocks of your friends?
8 If you do not know, most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the sheep and graze your young goats by the tents of the shepherds.
9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariot horses. 10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. 11 We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.
12 While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. 13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. 14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.
15 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.
16 How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant.
17 The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs.
Song of Songs 1:2The main male and female speakers (identified primarily on the basis of the gender of the relevant Hebrew forms) are indicated by the captions He and She respectively. The words of others are marked Friends. In some instances the divisions and their captions are debatable.
40 Therefore the Lord was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. 41 He gave them into the hands of the nations, and their foes ruled over them. 42 Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power. 43 Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. 44 Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; 45 for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. 46 He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy.
47 Save us,Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
48 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
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