in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows are dimmed,
and the doors on the street are shut; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low;
they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along and desire fails; because man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets;
before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern,
and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.
Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging proverbs with great care.
The Preacher sought to find pleasing words, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.
The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings which are given by one Shepherd.
My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)