- 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" --
- before the sun and the light and the moon
and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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.
- 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,
- and the dust returns to the ground it came
from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
- "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says
the Teacher. "Everything is meaningless !"
- 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.
- The Teacher searched to find just the right
words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
- The words of the wise are like goads, their
collected sayings like firmly embedded nails -- given by one Shepherd.
- Be warned, my son, of anything in addition
to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the
- Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion
of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty
- For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.