Ecclesiastes 12

Remember God in Your Youth

12 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years approach when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; on the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and strong men are bent over, the grinders stop working because they are few, and those who look through [a]windows grow [b]dim; and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will [c]sing softly. Furthermore, people are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and the caper berry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while the mourners move around in the street. Remember your Creator before the silver cord is [d]broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the spring is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the [e]spirit will return to God who gave it. “Futility of futilities,” says the Preacher, “all is futility!”

Purpose of the Preacher

In addition to being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out, and arranged many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly.

11 The words of the wise are like [f]goads, and masters of these collections are like driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond this, my son, be warned: the [g]writing of many books is endless, and excessive study is [h]wearying to the body.

13 The conclusion, when everything has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.


  1. Ecclesiastes 12:3 Or holes
  2. Ecclesiastes 12:3 I.e., in their eyesight
  3. Ecclesiastes 12:4 Lit be low
  4. Ecclesiastes 12:6 As in LXX; Heb removed
  5. Ecclesiastes 12:7 Or breath
  6. Ecclesiastes 12:11 I.e., spiked sticks for driving cattle
  7. Ecclesiastes 12:12 Lit making
  8. Ecclesiastes 12:12 Lit weariness