Ecclesiastes 12:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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"--

King James Bible
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

Darby Bible Translation
And remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, of which thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

World English Bible
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw near, when you will say, "I have no pleasure in them;"

Young's Literal Translation
Remember also thy Creators in days of thy youth, While that the evil days come not, Nor the years have arrived, that thou sayest, 'I have no pleasure in them.'

Ecclesiastes 12:1 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Remember thy Creator - בוראיך Boreeycha, thy Creators. The word is most certainly in the plural number in all our common Hebrew Bibles; but it is in the singular number, בוראך Borecha, in one hundred and seventy-six of Dr. Kennicott's MSS., and ninety-six of De Rossi's; in many ancient editions; and in all the ancient versions. There is no dependence on the plural form in most of the modern editions; though there are some editions of great worth which exhibit the word in this form, and among them the Complutensian, Antwerp, Paris, and London polyglots.

The evidence, therefore, that this text is supposed to give to the doctrine of the ever blessed Trinity, is but precarious, and on it little stress can be laid; and no man who loves truth would wish to support it by dubious witnesses. Injudicious men, by laying stress on texts dubious in themselves, and which may be interpreted a different way, greatly injure the true faith. Though such in their hearts may be friends to the orthodox faith, they are in fact its worst friends, and their assistance is such as helps their adversaries.

But what does the text say? It addresses the youth of both sexes throughout the creation; and says in effect: -

I. You are not your own, you have no right to yourselves. God made you; he is your Creator: he made you that you might be happy; but you can be happy only in him. And as he created you, so he preserves you; he feeds, clothes, upholds you. He has made you capable of knowing, loving, and serving him in this world, and of enjoying him in his own glory for ever. And when you had undone yourselves by sin, he sent his Son to redeem you by his blood; and he sends his Spirit to enlighten, convince, and draw you away from childishness, from vain and trifling, as well as from sinful, pursuits.

II. Remember him; consider that he is your Creator, your loving and affectionate Father. In youth memory is strong and tenacious; but, through the perversion of the heart by sin, young people can remember any thing better than God. If you get a kindness from a friend, you can remember that, and feel gratitude for it; and the person is therefore endeared to you. Have any ever given you such benefits as your Creator? Your body and soul came from him; he gave you your eyes, ears, tongue, hands, feet, etc. What blessings are these! how excellent! how useful! how necessary and will you forget Him?

III. Remember him in thy Youth, in order that you may have a long and blessed life, that you may be saved from the corruption and misery into which young people in general run; and the evils they entail upon themselves by giving way to the sinful propensities of their own hearts. As in youth all the powers are more active and vigorous, so they are capable of superior enjoyments. Faith, hope, and love, will be in their best tenor, their greatest vigor, and in their least encumbered state. And it will be easier for you to believe, hope, pray, love, obey, and bear your cross, than it can be in old age and decrepitude.

IV. Remember him Now, in this part of your youth - you have no certainty of life; now is yours, to-morrow may not be. You are young; but you may never be old. Now he waits to be gracious; tomorrow may be too late. God now calls; his Spirit now strives; his ministers now exhort. You have now health; sin has not now so much dominion over you as it will have, increasing by every future moment, if you do not give up your hearts to your Maker.

V. There is another consideration which should weigh with you: should you live to old age. it is a very disadvantageous time to begin to serve the Lord in. Infirmities press down both body and mind, and the oppressed nature has enough to do to bear its own infirmities; and as there is little time, so there is generally less inclination, to call upon the Lord. Evil habits are strengthened by long continuance; and every desire and appetite in the soul is a strong hold for Satan. There is little time for repentance, little for faith, none for obedience. The evil days are come, and the years in which you will feelingly be obliged to say, Alas! "we have no pleasure in them;" and, what is worse, the heart is hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

remember

Ecclesiastes 11:10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

Genesis 39:2,8,9,23 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian...

1 Samuel 1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.

1 Samuel 2:18,26 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod...

1 Samuel 3:19-21 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground...

1 Samuel 16:7,12,13 But the LORD said to Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him...

,

1 Samuel 17:36,37 Your servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them...

1 Kings 3:6-12 And Solomon said, You have showed to your servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before you in truth...

1 Kings 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave...

1 Kings 18:12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry you where I know not...

2 Chronicles 34:2,3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father...

Psalm 22:9,10 But you are he that took me out of the womb: you did make me hope when I was on my mother's breasts...

Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psalm 71:17,18 O God, you have taught me from my youth: and till now have I declared your wondrous works...

Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Isaiah 26:8 Yes, in the way of your judgments, O LORD, have we waited for you; the desire of our soul is to your name...

Lamentations 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke of his youth.

Daniel 1:8,9,17 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank...

Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink...

Luke 2:40-52 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was on him...

Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them to him, and said, Suffer little children to come to me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 6:4 And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures...

while

Ecclesiastes 11:8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many...

Job 30:2 Yes, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?

Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years...

Hosea 7:9 Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knows it not: yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he knows not.

when

2 Samuel 19:35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink?...

Library
The Conclusion of the Matter
'Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 2. While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain; 3. In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, 4. And the doors shall be shut in
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Ancestral Home
John Van Nest Talmage was born at Somerville, New Jersey, August 18, 1819 He was the fourth son in a family of seven brothers and five sisters. The roots of the Talmage genealogical tree may be traced back to the year 1630, when Enos and Thomas Talmage, the progenitors of the Talmage family in North America, landed at Charlestown, Massachusetts, and afterwards settled at East Hampton, Long Island. Dr. Lyman Beecher represents the first settlers of East Hampton as "men resolute, enterprising, acquainted
Rev. John Gerardus Fagg—Forty Years in South China

A Prayer when one Begins to be Sick.
O most righteous Judge, yet in Jesus Christ my gracious Father! I, wretched sinner, do here return unto thee, though driven with pain and sickness, like the prodigal child with want and hunger. I acknowledge that this sickness and pain comes not by blind chance or fortune, but by thy divine providence and special appointment. It is the stroke of thy heavy hand, which my sins have justly deserved; and the things that I feared are now fallen upon me (Job iii. 25.) Yet do I well perceive that in wrath
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Solomon's Repentance
Twice during Solomon's reign the Lord had appeared to him with words of approval and counsel--in the night vision at Gibeon, when the promise of wisdom, riches, and honor was accompanied by an admonition to remain humble and obedient; and after the dedication of the temple, when once more the Lord exhorted him to faithfulness. Plain were the admonitions, wonderful the promises, given to Solomon; yet of him who in circumstances, in character, and in life seemed abundantly fitted to heed the charge
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Deuteronomy 8:18
But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

Nehemiah 4:14
After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

Psalm 63:6
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.

Psalm 119:55
In the night, LORD, I remember your name, that I may keep your law.

Ecclesiastes 11:2
Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

Ecclesiastes 11:8
However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.

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