Bible: Eccl 11:7-12:14

Life Should Be Enjoyed Because Death is Inevitable

11:7 Light 1  is sweet, 2 

and it is pleasant for a person 3  to see the sun. 4 

11:8 So, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all,

but let him remember that the days of darkness 5  will be many – all that is about to come is obscure. 6 

Enjoy Life to the Fullest under the Fear of God

11:9 Rejoice, young man, while you are young, 7 

and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth.

Follow the impulses 8  of your heart and the desires 9  of your eyes,

but know that God will judge your motives and actions. 10 

11:10 Banish 11  emotional stress 12  from your mind. 13 

and put away pain 14  from your body; 15 

for youth 16  and the prime of life 17  are fleeting. 18 

Fear God Now Because Old Age and Death Come Quickly

12:1 So remember 19  your Creator in the days of your youth

before 20  the difficult 21  days come,

and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”;

12:2 before the sun and the light 22  of the moon and the stars grow dark,

and the clouds disappear 23  after the rain;

12:3 when those who keep watch over the house 24  begin to tremble, 25 

and the virile men begin to stoop over, 26 

and the grinders 27  begin to cease because they grow few,

and those who look through the windows grow dim, 28 

12:4 and the doors along the street are shut;

when the sound of the grinding mill 29  grows low,

and one is awakened 30  by the sound of a bird,

and all their 31  songs 32  grow faint, 33 

12:5 and they are afraid of heights and the dangers 34  in the street;

the almond blossoms 35  grow white, 36 

and the grasshopper 37  drags itself along, 38 

and the caper berry 39  shrivels up 40 

because man goes to his eternal home, 41 

and the mourners go about in the streets –

12:6 before the silver cord is removed,

or the golden bowl is broken,

or the pitcher is shattered at the well, 42 

or the water wheel 43  is broken at the cistern

12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was,

and the life’s breath 44  returns to God who gave it.

Concluding Refrain: Qoheleth Restates His Thesis

12:8Absolutely futile!” 45  laments the Teacher, 46 

“All of these things 47  are futile! 48 

Concluding Epilogue: Qoheleth’s Advice is Wise

12:9 Not only was the Teacher wise, 49 

but he also taught knowledge to the people;

he carefully evaluated 50  and arranged 51  many proverbs.

12:10 The Teacher sought to find delightful 52  words,

and to write 53  accurately truthful sayings. 54 

12:11 The words of the sages are like prods, 55 

and the collected sayings are like firmly fixed nails;

they are given by one shepherd.

Concluding Exhortation: Fear God and Obey His Commands!

12:12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. 56 

There is no end to the making 57  of many books,

and much study is exhausting to the body. 58 

12:13 Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: 59 

Fear God and keep his commandments,

because this is the whole duty 60  of man.

12:14 For God will evaluate every deed, 61 

including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

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