Old Testament

Ecclesiastes 12
121So remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
before the bad days come and the years arrive when you will say,
“I have no delight in them,”
2before the sun and the light of the moon and the stars are darkened,
before the clouds return after the rain,
3before the day when the watchmen of the house tremble,
and the strong men are bent over,
and the women who grind grain cease because they are few,
and those watching through the windows can barely see.
4Then the double doors to the street are shut,
as the grinding of the mill grows quiet.
A person wakes up at the sound of a bird,
but all the sounds of music are muffled.
5Then they fear heights and terrors along the road.
The almond blossoms become white.
The grasshopper drags himself along,
and the caperberry has no effect.[]
Why? Because the man is heading to his eternal home.
Then the wailing mourners will go around in the street.
6Remember your Creator
before the silver cord is snapped,
and the golden bowl is broken,
before the jar is shattered by the spring,
and the water wheel is broken by the well,
7and the dust goes back into the ground—just as it was before,
and the spirit goes back to God who gave it.
8“Nothing but vapor,” said Ecclesiastes, the speaker.[] “It is all vapor.”
9Besides being wise, Ecclesiastes taught the people knowledge, and he weighed, collected, and arranged many proverbs. 10Ecclesiastes searched to find just the right words. What was written was honest—they were true words. 11Sayings of wise men are like cattle prods, and those sayings collected by experts are like firmly fixed nails, given by one Shepherd.
12My son, beware of anything in addition to these. There is no end of making many books, and much study wears out the body.
13This is the conclusion of the matter. Everything has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments. For mankind, this is everything.[]
14Yes, God will bring everything that is done into judgment, including everything that is hidden, whether good or evil.


  • 12:5 Or the caperberry shrivels up. The caperberry was associated with sexual vitality.
  • 12:8 Ecclesiastes is not a personal name, but a title for a person who gathers a group of people to speak to them. The Hebrew word qoheleth here has the definite article, showing that it is a title.
  • 12:13 Or this applies to everyone