Ecclesiastes 12:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
That's the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone's duty.

English Standard Version
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

New American Standard Bible
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.

King James Bible
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is: fear God and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity.

International Standard Version
Let the conclusion of all of these thoughts be heard: Fear God and obey his commandments, for this is what it means to be human.

NET Bible
Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of man.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
After having heard it all, this is the conclusion: Fear God, and keep his commands, because this applies to everyone.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The conclusion of the entire sermon is heard: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole happiness of man.

King James 2000 Bible
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

American King James Version
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

American Standard Version
This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Let us all hear together the conclusion of the discourse. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man:

Darby Bible Translation
Let us hear the end of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole of man.

English Revised Version
This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.

Webster's Bible Translation
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

World English Bible
This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.

Young's Literal Translation
The end of the whole matter let us hear: -- 'Fear God, and keep His commands, for this is the whole of man.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:8-14 Solomon repeats his text, VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL IS VANITY. These are the words of one that could speak by dear-bought experience of the vanity of the world, which can do nothing to ease men of the burden of sin. As he considered the worth of souls, he gave good heed to what he spake and wrote; words of truth will always be acceptable words. The truths of God are as goads to such as are dull and draw back, and nails to such as are wandering and draw aside; means to establish the heart, that we may never sit loose to our duty, nor be taken from it. The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom. Teachers and guides all receive their communications from him. The title is applied in Scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets sought diligently, what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. To write many books was not suited to the shortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer, and to the reader; and then was much more so to both than it is now. All things would be vanity and vexation, except they led to this conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child. The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practical results in the life. Let us attend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts. Why does God record in his word, that ALL IS VANITY, but to keep us from deceiving ourselves to our ruin? He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - The teaching of the whole book is now gathered up in two weighty sentences. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. The Revised Version gives, This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard. The Septuagint has, Τέλος λόγου τὸ πᾶν ἄκουε, "The end of the matter, the sum, hear thou;" Vulgate, Finem loquendi pariter omnes audiamus. Another rendering is suggested, "The conclusion of the matter is this, that [God] taketh knowledge of all things;" literally, "everything is heard." Perhaps the passage is best translated, The end of the matter, when all is heard, is this. The first word of this verse, soph, "end," is printed in the Hebrew text in large characters, in order to draw attention to the importance of what is coming. And its significance is rightly estimated. These two verses guard against very possible misconception, and give the author's real and mature conclusion. When this is received, all that need be said has been uttered. Fear God (ha-Elohim), and keep his commandments. This injunction is the practical result of the whole discussion. Amid the difficulties of the moral government of the world, amid the complications of society, varying and opposing interests and claims, one duty remained plain and unchanging - the duty of piety and obedience. For this is the whole duty of man. The Hebrew is literally, "This is every man," which is explained to mean, "This is every man's duty." Septuagint, Ὅτι τοῦτο πᾶς ὁ ἄνθρωπος: Vulgate, Hoc est enim omnis homo. For this man was made and placed in the world; this is his real object, the chief good which he has to seek, and which alone will secure contentment and happiness. The obligation is put in the most general terms as applicable to the whole human family; for God is not the God of the Jews only, but of Gentiles also (Romans 3:29).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter,.... Or "the end" (o) of it. The sum and substance of it, what it all tends to and issues in; even the whole of what is contained in this book, and in all offer divinely inspired writings of Solomon or others; of all that were now written, or before, or since: this the preacher calls upon himself, as well as his hearers, to attend unto. Or it may be rendered, "the end of the whole matter is heard" (p); here ends this book; and you have heard the whole of what deserves regard, and it lies in these few words,

fear God, and keep his commandments: "the fear of God" includes the whole of internal religion, or powerful godliness; all the graces of the Spirit, and the exercise of them; reverence of God, love to him, faith in him, and in his Son Jesus Christ; hope of eternal life from him; humility of soul, patience and submission to his will, with every other grace; so the Heathens call religion "metum Deorum" (q), the fear of God: and "keeping of the commandments", or obedience to the whole will of God, is the fruit, effect, and evidence of the former; and takes in all the commands of God, moral and positive, whether under the former or present dispensation; and an observance of them in faith, from a principle of love, and with a view to the glory of God;

for this is the whole duty of man; or, "this is the whole man" (r); and makes a man a whole man, perfect, entire, and wanting nothing; whereas, without this, he is nothing, let him have ever so much of the wisdom, wealth, honour, and profits of this world. Or, "this is the whole of every man" (s); either, as we supply it, the duty, work, and business of every man, of every son of Adam, be he what he will, high or low, rich or poor, of every age, sex, and condition; or this is the happiness of every man, or that leads to it; this is the whole of it; this is the "summum bonum", or chief happiness of men: Lactantius (t) says, the "summum bonum" of a man lies in religion only; it lies in this, and not in any outward thing, as is abundantly proved in this book: and this should be the concern of everyone, this being the chief end of man, and what, as Jarchi says, he is born unto; or, as the Targum, such should be the life of every man. The Masoretes begin this verse with a larger letter than usual, and repeat it at the end of the book, though not accentuated, to raise the attention of the reader (u); that he may make a particular observation of what is said in it, as being of the greatest moment and importance.

(o) "finis verbi omnis", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus; "finis universi negotii", Tigurine version, so Vatablus. (p) "auditus est", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Tigurine version, Mercerus. (q) Horat. Carmin. l. 1. Ode 35. v. 36. (r) "hoc (est) omnis homo", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Mercerus; "omnium hominum perfectio", Tigurine version; "hoc est totus homo", Cocceius; "this is all the man", Broughton. (s) "Hoc est omnium hominum", Piscator, Gejerus; "hoc est totum hominis", Junius & Tremellius. (t) De Fals. Sap. l. 3, c. 10. (u) Vid. Buxtorf. Tiberius, c. 14. p. 38.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. The grand inference of the whole book.

Fear God—The antidote to following creature idols, and "vanities," whether self-righteousness (Ec 7:16, 18), or wicked oppression and other evils (Ec 8:12, 13), or mad mirth (Ec 2:2; 7:2-5), or self-mortifying avarice (Ec 8:13, 17), or youth spent without God (Ec 11:9; 12:1).

this is the whole duty of man—literally, "this is the whole man," the full ideal of man, as originally contemplated, realized wholly by Jesus Christ alone; and, through Him, by saints now in part, hereafter perfectly (1Jo 3:22-24; Re 22:14).

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Fear of God is Utmost
12But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. 13The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
Cross References
Deuteronomy 4:2
Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.

Deuteronomy 6:2
so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.

Deuteronomy 10:12
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

1 Samuel 12:24
But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

Job 28:28
And he said to the human race, "The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding."

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Ecclesiastes 2:3
I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.

Ecclesiastes 3:14
I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Ecclesiastes 5:7
Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.

Ecclesiastes 7:18
It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.

Ecclesiastes 8:5
Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.

Ecclesiastes 8:12
Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.

Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Treasury of Scripture

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

fear

Ecclesiastes 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers …

Ecclesiastes 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, …

Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not your hand on the lad, neither do you any thing …

Deuteronomy 6:2 That you might fear the LORD your God, to keep all his statutes and …

Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but …

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding …

Psalm 112:1 Praise you the LORD. Blessed is the man that fears the LORD, that …

Psalm 145:19 He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear …

Psalm 147:11 The LORD takes pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise …

Proverbs 23:28 She also lies in wait as for a prey, and increases the transgressors among men.

Psalm 115:13-15 He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great…

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD tends to life: and he that has it shall abide …

Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

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