1Remember the One who created you. Remember him while you are still young. Think about him before your times of trouble come. The years will come when you will say, “I don't find any pleasure in them.”2That's when the sunlight will become dark. The moon and the stars will also grow dark. And the clouds will return after it rains.3Remember your Creator before those who guard the house tremble with old age. That's when strong men will be bent over. The women who grind grain will stop because there are so few of them left. Those who look through the windows won't be able to see very well.4Remember your Creator before the front doors are closed. That's when the sound of grinding will fade away. Old men will rise up when they hear birds singing. But they will barely hear any of their songs.5Remember your Creator before you become afraid of places that are too high. You will also be terrified because of danger in the streets. Remember your Creator before the almond trees have buds on them. That's when grasshoppers will drag themselves along. Old men will not want to make love anymore. Man will go to his dark home in the grave. And those who sob over the dead will walk around in the streets.6Remember your Creator before the silver cord is cut. That's when the golden bowl will be broken. The wheel will be broken at the well. The pitcher will be smashed at the spring.7Remember your Creator before you return to the dust you came from. That's when your spirit will go back to God who gave it.8“Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Nothing has any meaning.”
Have Respect for God
9The Teacher was wise. He gave knowledge to people. He put many proverbs to the test. He thought about them carefully. Then he wrote them down in order.10He did his best to find just the right words. And what he wrote was honest and true.11The sayings of those who are wise move people to take action. Their collected sayings really nail things down. They are given to us by one Shepherd.12My son, be careful not to pay attention to anything that is added to them. Books will never stop being written. Too much studying makes people tired.13Everything has now been heard. And here's the final thing I want to say. Have respect for God and obey his commandments. That's what everyone should do.14God will judge everything people do. That includes everything they try to hide. He'll judge everything, whether it's good or evil.
English Standard Version
Remember Your Creator in Your Youth
1Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; (2Sa 19:35; Ec 11:8; La 3:27)2before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, (Job 3:9; Isa 5:30; Eze 32:7)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 who look through the windows are dimmed, (Ge 27:1; Ge 48:10; 1Sa 3:2)4and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low— (Ps 141:3; Ec 2:8; Jer 25:10; Re 18:22)5they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets— (2Ch 35:25; Job 17:13; Job 30:23; Ps 143:3; Pr 26:13; Isa 14:18; Jer 9:17; Mt 9:23)6before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, (Isa 30:14; Zec 4:2)7and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. (Ge 2:7; Job 34:14; Job 34:15; Ps 90:3; Ps 103:14; Ec 3:20; Ec 3:21; Isa 57:16; Zec 12:1)8Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity. (Ec 1:1; Ec 1:2)