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Ecclesiastes 12Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

12 So remember your creator while you are young,
before the evil days come,
and the years approach when you will say,
“They no longer give me pleasure”;
before the sun and the light grow dim,
also the moon and the stars;
before the clouds return after the rain;
on the day when the guards of the house are trembling,
and men of courage are bent over double;
when the women stop grinding grain,
because there are so few;
when the women at the windows
can no longer see out;
when the doors to the streets are kept shut;
when the noise from the grain-mill fades;
when a person is startled by the chirp of a bird,
yet their singing is hard to hear;
when they will be afraid to go up a hill,
and terrors will stalk the way,
even though the almond tree is in bloom;
when the locust can only drag itself along,
and the caper berry has no [aphrodisiac] effect —
because the person is headed for his eternal home,
and the mourners are already gathering
in the marketplace —
before the silver cord is snapped
the bowl of gold is cracked,
the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
the pulley is broken at the cistern,
the dust returns to earth, as it was,
and the spirit returns to God, who gave it!
Pointless! Meaningless! — says Kohelet,
Nothing matters at all!

Not only was Kohelet wise, he also taught the people what he knew; also he weighed, researched and corrected many ethical sayings. 10 Kohelet worked to develop an attractive writing style, in which he expressed the truth straightforwardly. 11 The sayings of the wise are as sharp as goads, and those given by leaders of assemblies are like well-fixed nails; [in this case,] they are presented by a single shepherd. 12 In addition, my son, take heed: one can write many books — there’s no end to it; and one can study so much that it wearies the flesh.

13 Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything: fear God, and keep his mitzvot; this is what being human is all about. 14 For God will bring to judgment everything we do, including every secret, whether good or bad.

[Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything: fear God, and keep his mitzvot; this is what being human is all about.]

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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