1Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”—2before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;3when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim;4when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint;5when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.6Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well,7and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.8“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Everything is meaningless!”
The Conclusion of the Matter
9Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.10The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.11The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd.12Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.13Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.14For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is 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)