Seek God in Early Life
Before the [a]difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:
2 While the sun and the light,
The moon and the stars,
Are not darkened,
And the clouds do not return after the rain;
3 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;
4 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.
5 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.
Or the golden bowl is broken,
Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,
Or the wheel broken at the well.
7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
“All is vanity.”
The Whole Duty of Man
9 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:
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.
- Ecclesiastes 12:1 Lit. evil
- Ecclesiastes 12:6 So with Qr., Tg.; Kt. removed; LXX, Vg. broken
- Ecclesiastes 12:9 arranged
- Ecclesiastes 12:10 Lit. delightful
- Ecclesiastes 12:11 Lit. masters of assemblies