New International Version

Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

1Remember 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”—

2before the sun and the light

and the moon and the stars grow dark,

and the clouds return after the rain;

3when 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;

4when 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;

5when 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.

6Remember 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,

7and the dust returns to the ground it came from,

and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

8“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.12:8 Or the leader of the assembly; also in verses 9 and 10

“Everything is meaningless!”

The Conclusion of the Matter

9Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

11The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd.12:11 Or Shepherd 12Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

13Now all has been heard;

here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments,

for this is the duty of all mankind.

14For God will bring every deed into judgment,

including every hidden thing,

whether it is good or evil.

King James Version

Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

1Remember 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; 2While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 3In 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,12.3 the grinders…: or, the grinders fail, because they grind little 4And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; 5Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

8¶ Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. 9And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.12.9 moreover…: or, the more wise the preacher was, etc 10The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.12.10 acceptable…: Heb. words of delight 11The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. 12And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.12.12 study: or, reading

13¶ Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.12.13 Let…: or, The end of the matter, even all that hath been heard, is 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.