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Ecclesiastes 12 (New American Standard)

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Remember God in Your Youth

1 1Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the 2evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, "I have no delight in them"; 2 before the 3sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; 3 in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men 4stoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and 5those who look through awindows grow dim; 4 and the doors on the street are shut as the 6sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the 7daughters of song will bsing softly. 5 Furthermore, cmen are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal 8home while 9mourners go about in the street. 6 Remember Him before the silver cord is dbroken and the 10golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; 7 then the 11dust will return to the earth as it was, and the e12spirit will return to 13God who gave it. 8 "14Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "all is vanity!"

Purpose of the Preacher

9 In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out and arranged 15many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find 16delightful words and to write 17words of truth correctly. 11 The 18words of wise men are like 19goads, and masters of these collections are like fwell-driven 20nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond this, my son, be warned: the gwriting of 21many books is endless , and excessive 22devotion to books is wearying to the body. 13 The conclusion , when all has been heard, is: 23fear God and 24keep His commandments, because this applies to 25every person. 14 For 26God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
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