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Remember Your Creator in Your Youth

12 (A)Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the (B)evil days happen and the years draw near in which you will say, “I have no delight in them”; before the (C)sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and valiant men (D)bend down, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and (E)those who look through [a]windows grow dark; and the doors on the street are shut as the (F)sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the (G)daughters of song will [b]sing softly. Furthermore, [c]men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blooms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal (H)home, but the (I)mourners go about in the street. Remember Him before the silver [d]cord is [e]snapped and the (J)golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the spring is broken and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the (K)dust will return to the earth as it was, and the [f](L)spirit will return to (M)God who gave it. (N)Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!”

Fear God and Keep His Commandments

In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out, and [g]arranged (O)many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find (P)delightful words and (Q)words of truth written uprightly.

11 The (R)words of wise men are like (S)goads, and masters of these collections are like [h]well-driven (T)nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But in addition to this, my son, be warned: the making of (U)many books is endless, and much (V)devotion to books is wearying to the flesh.

13 The end of the matter, all that has been heard: (W)fear God and (X)keep His commandments, because this is the end of the matter for (Y)all mankind. 14 For (Z)God will bring every work to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.


  1. Ecclesiastes 12:3 Or holes
  2. Ecclesiastes 12:4 Lit be brought low
  3. Ecclesiastes 12:5 Lit they
  4. Ecclesiastes 12:6 Or vanity
  5. Ecclesiastes 12:6 As in Gr; Heb removed
  6. Ecclesiastes 12:7 Or breath
  7. Ecclesiastes 12:9 Lit set straight
  8. Ecclesiastes 12:11 Lit planted