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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”; before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; 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; 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. 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. 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; then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the [e]spirit will return to God who gave it. Futility of futilities,” says the Preacher, “all is futility!”

Purpose of the Preacher

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.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 12:3 Or holes
  2. Ecclesiastes 12:3 I.e., in their eyesight
  3. Ecclesiastes 12:4 Lit be low
  4. Ecclesiastes 12:6 As in LXX; Heb removed
  5. Ecclesiastes 12:7 Or breath
  6. Ecclesiastes 12:11 I.e., spiked sticks for driving cattle
  7. Ecclesiastes 12:12 Lit making
  8. Ecclesiastes 12:12 Lit weariness
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Ecclesiastes 12 New International Version (NIV)

12 Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”—
before the sun and the light
    and the moon and the stars grow dark,
    and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
    and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
    and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
    and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
    but all their songs grow faint;
when people are afraid of heights
    and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
    and the grasshopper drags itself along
    and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
    and mourners go about the streets.

Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
    and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
    and the wheel broken at the well,
and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
    and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.[a]
    “Everything is meaningless!

The Conclusion of the Matter

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;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 12:8 Or the leader of the assembly; also in verses 9 and 10
  2. Ecclesiastes 12:11 Or Shepherd
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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