Ecclesiastes 12 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 onor and enjoy your Creator while you're still young, Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes, 1 Remember 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"--
2 Before your vision dims and the world blurs And the winter years keep you close to the fire. 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;
3 In old age, your body no longer serves you so well. Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen. The shades are pulled down on the world. 3 when 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;
4 You can't come and go at will. Things grind to a halt. The hum of the household fades away. You are wakened now by bird-song. 4 when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint;
5 Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past. Even a stroll down the road has its terrors. Your hair turns apple-blossom white, Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body. Yes, you're well on your way to eternal rest, While your friends make plans for your funeral. 5 when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
6 Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends. 6 Remember him--before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well,
7 The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it. 7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 It's all smoke, nothing but smoke. The Quester says that everything's smoke. 8 "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Everything is meaningless!"
9 Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs. 9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.
10 The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 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. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails--given by one Shepherd.
12 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. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you. 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man.
14 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. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.