English Standard Version
Remember Your Creator in Your Youth
12 Remember also your Creator in (A)the days of your youth, before (B)the evil days come and the years draw near of which (C)you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before (D)the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, 3 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 (E)those who look through the windows are dimmed, 4 and (F)the doors on the street are shut—when (G)the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all (H)the daughters of song are brought low— 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and (I)terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,[a] and desire fails, because man is going to his (J)eternal (K)home, and the (L)mourners go about the streets— 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or (M)the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is (N)shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and (O)the dust returns to the earth as it was, and (P)the spirit returns to God (Q)who gave it. 8 (R)Vanity[b] of vanities, says (S)the Preacher; all is vanity.
Fear God and Keep His Commandments
9 Besides being wise, (T)the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging (U)many proverbs with great care. 10 (V)The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.
11 (W)The words of the wise are like goads, and like (X)nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are (Y)given by (Z)one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making (AA)many books there is no end, and (AB)much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. (AC)Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.[c] 14 For (AD)God will bring every deed into judgment, with[d] every secret thing, whether good or evil.
- Ecclesiastes 12:5 Or is a burden
- Ecclesiastes 12:8 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (three times in this verse); see note on 1:2
- Ecclesiastes 12:13 Or the duty of all mankind
- Ecclesiastes 12:14 Or into the judgment on
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.