New American Bible (Revised Edition)
6 [a]Before the silver cord is snapped
and the golden bowl is broken,
And the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the pulley is broken at the well,
7 And the dust returns to the earth as it once was,
and the life breath returns to God who gave it.[b](A)
8 Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
all things are vanity!(B)
- 12:6 The golden bowl suspended by the silver cord is a symbol of life; the snapping of the cord and the breaking of the bowl, a symbol of death. The pitcher…the pulley: another pair of metaphors for life and its ending.
- 12:7 Death is portrayed in terms of the description of creation in Gn 2:7; the body corrupts in the grave, and the life breath (lit., “spirit”), or gift of life, returns to God who had breathed upon what he had formed.