Remember Your Creator
1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
before the days of adversity come
and the years approach of which you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them,”
2 before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is darkened,
and the clouds return after the rain,
3 on the day the keepers of the house tremble
and the strong men stoop,
when those grinding cease because they are few
and those watching through windows see dimly,
4 when the doors to the street are shut
and the sound of the mill fades away,
when one rises at the sound of a bird
and all the daughters of song grow faint,
5 when men fear the heights and dangers of the road,
when the almond tree blossoms,
the grasshopper loses its spring,
and the caper berry shrivels—
for then man goes to his eternal home
and mourners walk the streets.
6 Remember Him before the silver cord is snapped
and the golden bowl is crushed,
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring
and the wheel is broken at the well,
7 before the dust returns to the ground from which it came
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 “Futility of futilities,” says the Teacher.
“Everything is futile!”
The Whole Duty of Man
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also taught the people knowledge; he pondered, searched out, and arranged many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find delightful sayings and to record accurate words of truth. a
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the anthologies of the masters are like firmly embedded nails driven by a single Shepherd. b 12 And by these, my son, be further warned: There is no end to the making of many books, and much study wearies the body.
13 When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, along with every hidden thing, whether good or evil.
10 a Or and sought to write what was upright and true
11 b Or shepherd