1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth
before the evil days come,
and the years draw near when you will say,
“I have no delight in them,”
2 Before the sun, and the light, and the moon and the stars are darkened,
and the clouds return after the rain;
3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble
and the strong men bow themselves,
and the grinders cease because they are few,
and those who look out of the windows are darkened,
4 and the doors will be shut in the street;
when the sound of the grinding is low,
and one will rise up at the voice of a bird,
and all the daughters of music will be brought low;
5 also, they will be afraid of heights, and terrors will be in the road;
and the almond tree will blossom,
and the grasshopper will be a burden,
and desire will fail
because man goes to his age-long home,
and the mourners go about the streets:
6 before the silver cord is severed,
or the golden bowl is broken,
or the pitcher is broken at the spring,
or the wheel broken at the cistern,
7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8“Utterly pointless,” says the Sage. “Everything is pointless!”
9And furthermore, because the Sage was wise, he also taught the people knowledge. He pondered, evaluated, and arranged many proverbs.
10The Sage sought to find delightful words and what was written uprightly, words of truth.
11The words of the wise are like goads and like nails well-fastened, words of masters of collections, given by one shepherd.
12My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole purpose of humankind.
14For God will bring everything we do into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.