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.

New International Reader’s Version

Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

1Remember your Creator.

Remember him while you are still young.

Think about him before your times of trouble come.

The years will come when you will say,

“I don’t find any pleasure in them.”

2That’s when the sunlight will become dark.

The moon and the stars will also grow dark.

And the clouds will return after it rains.

3Remember your Creator before those who guard the house tremble with old age.

That’s when strong men will be bent over.

The women who grind grain will stop because there are so few of them left.

Those who look through the windows won’t be able to see very well.

4Remember your Creator before the front doors are closed.

That’s when the sound of grinding will fade away.

Old people will rise up when they hear birds singing.

But they will barely hear any of their songs.

5Remember your Creator before you become afraid of places that are too high.

You will also be terrified because of danger in the streets.

Remember your Creator before the almond trees have buds on them.

That’s when grasshoppers will drag themselves along.

Old people will lose their desire.

That’s when people will go to their dark homes in the grave.

And those who mourn for the dead will walk around in the streets.

6Remember your Creator before the silver cord is cut.

Remember him before the golden bowl is broken.

The wheel will be broken at the well.

The pitcher will be smashed at the spring.

7Remember your Creator before you return to the dust you came from.

Remember him before your spirit goes back to God who gave it.

8“Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!”

says the Teacher.

“Nothing has any meaning.”

Have Respect for God and Obey His Commandments

9The Teacher was wise. He gave knowledge to people. He tried out many proverbs. He thought about them carefully. Then he wrote them down in order. 10He did his best to find just the right words. And what he wrote was honest and true.

11The sayings of those who are wise move people to take action. Their collected sayings are like nails pounded in firm and deep. These sayings are given to us by one shepherd. 12My son, be careful not to pay attention to anything added to them.

Books will never stop being written. Too much studying makes people tired.

13Everything has now been heard.

And here’s the final thing I want to say.

Have respect for God and obey his commandments.

This is what he expects of all human beings.

14God will judge everything people do.

That includes everything they try to hide.

He’ll judge everything, whether it’s good or evil.