1Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when you will say, "I have no pleasure in them"; 2before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain; 3in 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, 4and 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; 5they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself alonga and desire fails; because man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets; 6before the silver cord is snapped,b or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 8Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.
9Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging proverbs with great care. 10The Preacher sought to find pleasing words, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.
11The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings which are given by one Shepherd. 12My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.c 14For God will bring every deed into judgment, withd every secret thing, whether good or evil.