CHAPTER 12 12 1[L] Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come And the years approach of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2Before the sun is darkened and the light and the moon and the stars, and the clouds return after the rain; 3[M] When the guardians of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent; When the women who grind are idle because they are few, and those who look through the windows grow blind; 4When the doors to the street are shut, and the sound of the mill is low; When one rises at the call of a bird, and all the daughters of song are quiet; 5When one is afraid of heights, and perils in the street; When the almond tree blooms, and the locust grows sluggish and the caper berry is without effect, Because mortals go to their lasting home, and mourners go about the streets; 6[N] Before the silver cord is snapped and the golden bowl is broken, And the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the pulley is broken at the well, 7And the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the life breath returns to God who gave it.[O] 8Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, all things are vanity! Epilogue. 9[P] Besides being wise, Qoheleth taught the people knowledge, and weighed, scrutinized and arranged many proverbs. 10Qoheleth sought to find appropriate sayings, and to write down true sayings with precision. 11The sayings of the wise are like goads; like fixed spikes are the collected sayings given by one shepherd.[Q] 12As to more than these,[R] my son, beware. Of the making of many books there is no end, and in much study there is weariness for the flesh. 13[S] The last word, when all is heard: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this concerns all humankind; 14because God will bring to judgment every work, with all its hidden qualities, whether good or bad.
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