Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.
It's all smoke, nothing but smoke. The Quester says that everything's smoke.
Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs.
The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth.
The words of the wise prod us to live well. They're like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are given by God, the one Shepherd.
But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There's no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you're no good for anything else.
The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.
And that's it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it's good or evil.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)