1Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return with a Gk Syr Vg: Heb lacks and the evil the rain; 3in the day when the guards of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the women who grind cease working because they are few, and those who look through the windows see dimly; 4when the doors on the street are shut, and 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; 5when one is afraid of heights, and terrors are in the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along b Or a child and desire fails; because all must go to their eternal home, and the mourners will go about the streets; 6before the silver cord is snapped, c Or after; Heb ‘ahar and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern, 7and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath d Or is a burden returns to God who gave it. 8Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher; e Syr Vg Compare Gk: Heb is removed all is vanity.
9Besides being wise, the Teacher e Syr Vg Compare Gk: Heb is removed also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs. 10The Teacher e Syr Vg Compare Gk: Heb is removed sought to find pleasing words, and he wrote words of truth plainly.
11The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd. f Or the spirit 12Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. 14For God will bring every deed into judgment, including a Qoheleth, traditionally rendered Preacher every secret thing, whether good or evil.