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Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8Common English Bible (CEB)

Rejoice, young person, while you are young! Your heart should make you happy in your prime. Follow your heart’s inclinations and whatever your eyes see, but know this: God will call you to account for all of these things. 10 Remove anxiety from your heart, banish pain from your body, because youth and the dawn of life are pointless too.

Troubling days to come

12 Remember your creator in your prime,
    before the days of trouble arrive,
    and those years, about which you’ll say, “I take no pleasure in these”—
    before the sun and the light grow dark, the moon and the stars too,
        before the clouds return after the rain;
    on the day when the housekeepers tremble and the strong men stoop;
when the women who grind stop working because they’re so few,
    and those who look through the windows grow dim;
    when the doors to the street are shut,
        when the sound of the mill fades,
        the sound of the bird rises,
        and all the singers come down low;
    when people are afraid of things above
    and of terrors along the way;
    when the almond tree blanches, the locust droops,
        and the caper-berry comes to nothing;[a]
when the human goes to the eternal abode,
    with mourners all around in the street;
    before the silver cord snaps and the gold bowl shatters;
        the jar is broken at the spring and the wheel is crushed at the pit;
    before dust returns to the earth as it was before
        and the life-breath returns to God who gave it.

Motto and conclusion

Perfectly pointless, says the Teacher, everything is pointless.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 12:5 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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