12 * And remember your Creator in your time of youth ere the bad times come and years that you will say you do not like draw on; 2 ere the sun and the light and the moon and the stars darken down and the clouds come back after the shower, 3 * on the day when the guards of the house tremble and the stalwart men go crooked and the grinders break off work because there have come to be so few of them, and the ladies that look through the window-lattice find themselves in the dark, 4 ** and doors are shut on the streets while the sound of the mill is low, and one gets up at the notes of the birds, and all the daughters of song go low; 5 withal they are afraid of a high place, and there are terrors on the road, and the almond-tree blossoms, and the grasshopper drags heavily, and the caper-berry balks, because man is going to his eternal house and the wailers are going around in the street; 6 ere the silver cord snaps and the golden bowl smashes and the jar is broken at the spring and the wheel is smashed into the cistern, 7 and the clay goes back to the earth as it was and the spirit back to the God who gave it. 8 Perfect nonsense, says Koheleth; everything is nonsense. 9 * And in addition to Koheleth’s being a wise man he taught knowledge to the people besides, and, weighing and probing, edited many proverbs. 10 ** Koheleth aimed to find interesting language and write straightforward truths. 11 * Wise men’s words are like goad-points, and such as are taken up into collections are like driven nails; they are given from one shepherd. 12 * And in addition to these things, my son, take warning: of making many books there is no end, and studying much is a fatigue to the flesh. 13 * Last word; all is heard: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man. 14 For God will bring every action under a judgment covering every unknown circumstance, be it good or be it bad.
^ 12:1 Lit. while the days of evil do not come
^ 12:3 Lit. to be few
^ 12:4-5 Unc.
^ 12:4 Or the sound of the grinding
^ 12:9 Or fitted together many proverbs
^ 12:10 Lit. to find interesting (or pleasing) words and write in straightforwardness words of truth (or write straightforwardness of words of truth
^ 12:10 Codd.* interesting language and a straightforward text, words of truth
^ 12:11 (middle part) Unc.
^ 12:12 Or And in addition, my son, beware of these things: of making many books there is
^ 12:13 Lit. End of talk