Ecclesiastes 12
Holman Christian Standard Bible  Par ▾ 

The Twilight of Life

1So remember your Creator in the days of your youth:

Before the days of adversity come,

and the years approach when you will say,a

I have no delight in them”;

2before the sun and the light are darkened,b

and the moon and the stars,

and the clouds return afterc the rain;

3on the day when the guardians of the house tremble,

and the strong men stoop,

the women who grind cease because they are few,

and the ones who watch through the windows see dimly,d

4the doors at the street are shut

while the sound of the mill fades;e

when one rises at the sound of a bird,

and all the daughters of song grow faint.

5Also, they are afraid of heights and dangers on the road;

the almond tree blossoms,

the grasshopper loses its spring,f

and the caper berry has no effect;

for man is headed to his eternal home,g

and mourners will walk around in the street;h

6before the silver cord is snapped,i

and the gold bowl is broken,j

and the jar is shattered at the spring,

and the wheel is broken into the well;

7and the dust returns to the earth as it once was,

and the spirit returns to God who gave it.k

8Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Everything is futile.”l

The Teacher’s Objectives and Conclusion

9In addition to the Teacher being a wise man, he constantly taught the people knowledge; he weighed, explored, and arranged many proverbs.m 10The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and write words of truth accurately. 11The sayings of the wise are like goads,n and those from masters of collections are like firmly embedded nails.o The sayings are given by one Shepherd.p

12But beyond these, my son, be warned: there is no end to the making of many books,q and much study wearies the body.r 13When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is: fear Gods and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity.t 14For God will bring every act to judgment,u including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.

a. 12:1 Ec 11:8
b. 12:2 Is 5:30; Ezk 32:7-8
c. 12:2 Or with
d. 12:3 Gn 27:1; 48:10; 1Sm 3:2
e. 12:4 Jr 25:10; Rv 18:22
f. 12:5 Or grasshopper is weighed down, or grasshopper drags itself along
g. 12:5 Jb 17:13; 30:23
h. 12:5 Jr 9:17
i. 12:6 Alt Hb tradition reads removed
j. 12:6 Zch 4:2-3
k. 12:7 Gn 2:7; 3:19; Ec 3:21
l. 12:8 Ec 1:2
m. 12:9 1Kg 4:32; Pr 1:1
n. 12:11 Pr 1:6; 22:17
o. 12:11 Ezr 9:8; Is 22:23
p. 12:11 Or by a shepherd
q. 12:12 1Kg 4:32-33; Jn 21:25
r. 12:12 Ec 1:18
s. 12:13 Pr 1:7; Ec 3:14; 5:7; 7:18; 8:12-13
t. 12:13 Ps 97:5; Ac 4:12; Rm 10:12
u. 12:14 Ec 3:17; 11:9; Rv 20:12
Ecclesiastes 11
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