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12 Have thou mind on thy Creator[a] in the days of thy youth, before that the time of thy torment come, and the years of thy death nigh, of which thou shalt say, Those please not me. (Think thou upon thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before that the time of thy torment come, and the years of thy death approach, of which thou shalt say, These days do not please me at all.)

Before that the sun be (made) dark, and the light, and stars, and the moon; and the clouds turn again after rain. (Before that the sun, and the light, and the stars, and the moon all be made dark; and the clouds return after the rain.)

When the (door)keepers of the house shall be moved, and [the] strongest men shall tremble; and [the] grinders shall be idle, when the number shall be made less, and seers by the holes shall wax dark; (When the guards of the house shall be shaken, and the strong shall tremble; and the grinders shall be idle, when their number shall be made less, and the eyes of those who see out by the windows shall grow dark, or grow dim;)

and (they) shall close the doors in the street (and they shall close the doors to the street), in the lowness of [the] voice of a grinder; and they shall rise (up) at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of song shall wax deaf.

And high things shall dread, and shall be afeared in the way (And when they shall fear high places, and shall be afraid to go on the way, or to go out in public); and an almond tree shall flower, a locust shall be made fat, and (the) capers shall be destroyed; for a man shall go into the house of his everlastingness, and wailers shall go about in the street.

Have thou mind on thy Creator, before that a silveren rope be broken, and a golden lace run against, and a water pot be all-broken on the well, and a wheel be broken (al)together on the cistern; (Think thou upon thy Creator, before that the silver rope is broken, and the golden bowl is broken, and the water pot at the well is broken, and the wheel at the cistern is broken, yea, before that all is ended;)

and dust turn again into his earth, whereof it was, and the spirit turn again to God, that gave it. (and the dust, or the dirt, return to the earth, where it was before, and the spirit return to God, who gave it.)

The vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, the vanity of vanities [Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, vanity of vanities], and all things be vanity. (Emptiness and futility, said Ecclesiastes, yea, everything is emptiness and futility.)

And when Ecclesiastes was most wise (And for Ecclesiastes was most wise), he taught the people, and he told out the things which he did, and he sought out wisdom, and made many parables;

10 he sought (out) profitable words, and he wrote most rightful words, and full of truth.

11 The words of wise men be as pricks, and as nails fastened deep, which be given of one shepherd by the counsels of masters. (For the words of the wise be like pricks, and like nails driven deep, for they be given from the one Shepherd for the counsel of us all.)

12 My son, seek thou no more than these; none end there is to make many books, and oft thinking is (a) torment of [the] flesh. (My son, seek thou no more than this; for there is no end to the making of many books, and thinking too much will only torment thy flesh.)

13 All we hear together the end of (the) speaking. Dread thou God, and keep his behests; that is (for) to know, every man. (Hear now the end, or the conclusion, of all this speaking. Fear God/Revere God, and obey his commands; that is for everyone to know.)

14 God shall bring all things into doom, that be done; for each thing covered, either privy, whether it be good, or evil. (For God shall bring all that is done to the judgement; even each thing that is covered, or is done in secret, or privately, whether it be good, or evil.)


  1. Ecclesiastes 12:1 The Hebrew for ‘thy Creator’ sounds much like the Hebrew for ‘thy grave’. (Good News Bible)