Ecclesiastes 12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Remember God in Your Youth
12 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years approach when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; 3 on the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and strong men are bent over, the grinders stop working because they are few, and those who look through [a]windows grow [b]dim; 4 and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will [c]sing softly. 5 Furthermore, people are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and the caper berry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while the mourners move around in the street. 6 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is [d]broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the spring is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; 7 then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the [e]spirit will return to God who gave it. 8 “Futility of futilities,” says the Preacher, “all is futility!”
Purpose of the Preacher
9 In addition to being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out, and arranged many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly.
11 The words of the wise are like [f]goads, and masters of these collections are like driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond this, my son, be warned: the [g]writing of many books is endless, and excessive study is [h]wearying to the body.
13 The conclusion, when everything has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12 New International Version (NIV)
12 Remember your Creator
6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.[a]
The Conclusion of the Matter
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd.[b] 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 Now all has been heard;
Ecclesiastes 12 King James Version (KJV)
12 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.
9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.