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Ecclesiastes 12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Seek God in Early Life

12 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the [a]difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:
While the sun and the light,
The moon and the stars,
Are not darkened,
And the clouds do not return after the rain;
In the day when the keepers of the house tremble,
And the strong men bow down;
When the grinders cease because they are few,
And those that look through the windows grow dim;
When the doors are shut in the streets,
And the sound of grinding is low;
When one rises up at the sound of a bird,
And all the daughters of music are brought low.
Also they are afraid of height,
And of terrors in the way;
When the almond tree blossoms,
The grasshopper is a burden,
And desire fails.
For man goes to his eternal home,
And the mourners go about the streets.

Remember your Creator before the silver cord is [b]loosed,
Or the golden bowl is broken,
Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,
Or the wheel broken at the well.
Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“All is vanity.”

The Whole Duty of Man

And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set[c] in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find [d]acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of [e]scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. 12 And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 12:1 Lit. evil
  2. Ecclesiastes 12:6 So with Qr., Tg.; Kt. removed; LXX, Vg. broken
  3. Ecclesiastes 12:9 arranged
  4. Ecclesiastes 12:10 Lit. delightful
  5. Ecclesiastes 12:11 Lit. masters of assemblies
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Remember God in Your Youth

12 Remember [thoughtfully] also your Creator in the days of your youth [for you are not your own, but His], before the evil days come or the years draw near when you will say [of physical pleasures], “I have no enjoyment and delight in them”; before the sun and the light, and the moon and the stars are darkened [by impaired vision], and the clouds [of depression] return after the rain [of tears]; in the day when the keepers of the house (hands, arms) tremble, and the strong men (feet, knees) bow themselves, and the grinders (molar teeth) cease because they are few, and those (eyes) who look through the windows grow dim; when the doors (lips) are shut in the streets and the sound of the grinding [of the teeth] is low, and one rises at the sound of a bird and the crowing of a rooster, and all the daughters of music (voice, ears) sing softly. Furthermore, they are afraid of a high place and of dangers on the road; the almond tree (hair) blossoms [white], and the grasshopper (a little thing) is a burden, and the [a]caperberry (desire, appetite) fails. For man goes to his eternal home and the mourners go about the streets and market places. Earnestly remember your Creator before the silver cord [of life] is broken, or the golden bowl is crushed, or the pitcher at the fountain is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust [out of which God made man’s body] will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher. “All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity (futility).”

Purpose of the Preacher

Furthermore, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; and he pondered and searched out and arranged many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find delightful words, even to write correctly words of truth.

11 The words of the wise are like [prodding] goads, and these collected sayings are [firmly fixed in the mind] like well-driven nails; [b]they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond this my son, [about going further than the words given by one Shepherd], be warned: the writing of many books is endless [so do not believe everything you read], and excessive study and devotion to books is wearying to the body.

13 When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 12:5 This is an actual bush that grows in the region of the Mediterranean Sea. It is used in various condiments. In this verse some think it refers to loss of taste in old age, others to sexual desire (taking the fruit as an aphrodisiac), but which is not clear.
  2. Ecclesiastes 12:11 This verse establishes the divine inspiration of Ecclesiastes.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. 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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