Modern English Version
12 Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the difficult days come
and the years arrive when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:
2 before the sun, light,
moon, and stars are darkened,
and the clouds leave after the rain;
3 in the day when those watching the house tremble,
and the strong men are bent over;
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows have dimmed eyes;
4 and the doors on the street are shut,
and the sound of grinding is low;
and one rises up at the sound of a bird,
and all the daughters of song are brought low;
5 when they are afraid of heights,
even the terrors along the road;
the almond tree blossoms,
the grasshopper drags itself along
and desire fails,
because man goes to his eternal home,
and the mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember your Creator before the cord of silver is snapped,
or the bowl of gold smashed,
or the jar by the spring broken
or the wheel at the cistern crushed.
7 The dust returns to the earth where it was,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 It is all vanity, says the Preacher;
all is vanity.
9 And in addition to being wise, the Preacher still taught the people knowledge, and he considered, sought out, and arranged many proverbs. 10 And the Preacher sought to discover words of delight, and to write in uprightness words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the collected sayings are like firmly embedded nails, given by one shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness to the flesh.
13 Now all has been heard.
Let us hear the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every secret thing,
whether good or evil.