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12 Remember also your Maker while you are young, before the days of trouble come and the years when you will say, “I have no joy in them,” before the sun, the light, the moon and the stars are made dark, and clouds return after the rain. This will be the day when the men who watch the house shake in fear. Strong men bow. Those who grind will stop because they are few. And the eyes of those who look through windows will not see well. The doors on the street will be shut when the sound of the grinding is no more. One will rise up at the sound of a bird. All the daughters of song will sing very low. Men will be afraid of a high place and of fears on the road. Flowers will grow on the almond tree. The grasshopper will pull himself along. And desire will be at an end. For man will go to his home that lasts forever, while people filled with sorrow go about in the street. Remember Him before the silver rope of life is broken and the gold dish is crushed. Remember Him before the pot by the well is broken and the wheel by the water-hole is crushed. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was. And the spirit will return to God Who gave it. “It is of no use,” says the Preacher, “It is all for nothing!”

The Preacher’s Last Words

Besides being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people much learning. He thought about, and looked for, and put together many wise sayings. 10 The Preacher looked to find pleasing words and to write words of truth in the right way.

11 The words of wise men are like a stick. Their gathered sayings are like well-driven nails given by one Shepherd. 12 But more than this, my son, be careful. There is no end to the writing of many books and reading many of them makes the body tired.

13 The last word, after all has been heard, is: Honor God and obey His Laws. This is all that every person must do. 14 For God will judge every act, even everything which is hidden, both good and bad.