Ecclesiastes 12

Remember Your Creator

1Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,

before the days of adversity come

and the years approach of which you will say,

“I find no pleasure in them,”

2before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is darkened,

and the clouds return after the rain,

3on the day the keepers of the house tremble

and the strong men stoop,

when those grinding cease because they are few

and those watching through windows see dimly,

4when the doors to the street are shut

and the sound of the mill fades away,

when one rises at the sound of a bird

and all the daughters of song grow faint,

5when men fear the heights and dangers of the road,

when the almond tree blossoms,

the grasshopper loses its spring,

and the caper berry shrivels—

for then man goes to his eternal home

and mourners walk the streets.

6Remember Him before the silver cord is snapped

and the golden bowl is crushed,

before the pitcher is shattered at the spring

and the wheel is broken at the well,

7before the dust returns to the ground from which it came

and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

8“Futility of futilities,” says the Teacher.

“Everything is futile!”

The Whole Duty of Man

9Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also taught the people knowledge; he pondered, searched out, and arranged many proverbs. 10The Teacher searched to find delightful sayings and to record accurate words of truth.a

11The words of the wise are like goads, and the anthologies of the masters are like firmly embedded nails driven by a single Shepherd.b 12And by these, my son, be further warned: There is no end to the making of many books, and much study wearies the body.

13When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man. 14For God will bring every deed into judgment, along with every hidden thing, whether good or evil.

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Ecclesiastes 11
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