Advice to the Young: Life is Short and Then You Die

1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth-- before the days of trouble come and the years draw near when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them!"

References for Ecclesiastes 12:1

      2 Before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars darken and the clouds return after the rain.
      3 When the guards of the house tremble, and the men of strength are bent; the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows see dimly.
      4 When the doors on the street are shut, when the sound of the grinding mill is low; one rises up to the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low.
      5 They are afraid of heights, and terrors [are] on the road. The almond tree blossoms, and the grasshopper draws itself along, and desire fails because man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about in the streets.
      6 Before the silver cord is snapped and the golden bowl is broken; and the jar at the foundation is broken, and the wheel at the cistern is broken.
      7 And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath returns to God who gave it.

      Motto Restated

      8 "Vanity of vanity!" says the Teacher. "Everything [is] vanity!"

      References for Ecclesiastes 12:8

        • a 12:8 - Hebrew "Qohelet"


          9 The Teacher was full of wisdom, and he taught the people with knowledge. He carefully considered many proverbs and carefully arranged them.

          References for Ecclesiastes 12:9

            • b 12:9 - Hebrew "Qohelet"
              10 The Teacher sought to find delightful words, and he wrote what is upright--truthful words.

              References for Ecclesiastes 12:10

                • c 12:10 - Hebrew "Qohelet"
                • d 12:10 - Hebrew "words of delight"
                • e 12:10 - The MT reads the term passively, "[what] is written," but an alternate textual tradition reads, "and he wrote"
                  11 The words of the wise [are] like cattle goads; the collections of the sages [are] like pricks inflicted by one shepherd.

                  References for Ecclesiastes 12:11

                    • f 12:11 - Or "The owner of collections are given by one shepherd"
                      12 My son, be careful {about anything beyond these things}. For the writing of books is endless, and too much study {is wearisome}.

                      References for Ecclesiastes 12:12

                        • g 12:12 - Literally "but from more than them"
                        • h 12:12 - Literally "increases weariness of flesh"
                          13 Now that all has been heard, here is the final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commandments, for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.
                          14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.