12 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”
2 before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
3 when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
4 when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;
5 when people are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags itself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
and mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember him before the silver cord is severed,
and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the wheel broken at the well,
7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.
“Everything is meaningless!”
9 Besides being wise,
the Preacher also taught the people knowledge,
weighing and studying and arranging
many proverbs with great care.
10 The Preacher sought to find words of delight,
and uprightly he wrote words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are like goads,
and like nails firmly fixed
are the collected sayings;
they are given by one Shepherd.
12 My son, beware of anything beyond these.
Of making many books there is no end,
and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard.
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
with every secret thing,
whether good or evil.