Ecclesiastes 12

Remember Your Creator in Your Youth

1 Remember also your Creator in v the days of your youth, before w the evil days come and the years draw near of which x you will say, "I have no pleasure in them"; 2 before y 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 are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and z those who look through the windows are dimmed, 4 and a the doors on the street are shut - when b the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all c the daughters of song are brought low - 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and d terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, 1 and desire fails, because man is going to his e eternal f home, and the g mourners go about the streets - 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or h the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is i shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and j the dust returns to the earth as it was, and k the spirit returns to God l who gave it. 8 m Vanity of vanities, says n the Preacher; all is vanity.

Fear God and Keep His Commandments

9 Besides being wise, n the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging o many proverbs with great care. 10 n The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.

11 p The words of the wise are like goads, and like q nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are r given by s one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making u many books there is no end, and v much study is a weariness of the flesh.

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. w Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 2 14 For x God will bring every deed into judgment, with 3 every secret thing, whether good or evil.

  1. Cross References
    Lamentations 3:27
    It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
  2. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 11:8
    So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.
  3. Cross References
    2 Samuel 19:35
    I am this day eighty years old. Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or what he drinks? Can I still listen to the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?
  4. Cross References
    Job 3:9
    Let the stars of its dawn be dark; let it hope for light, but have none, nor see the eyelids of the morning.
    Isaiah 5:30
    They will growl over it on that day, like the growling of the sea. And if one looks to the land, behold, darkness and distress; and the light is darkened by its clouds.
    Ezekiel 32:7 - 8
    When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light.
  5. Cross References
    Genesis 27:1
    When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, "My son"; and he answered, "Here I am.
    Genesis 48:10
    Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them.
    1 Samuel 3:2
    At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place.
  6. Cross References
    Psalms 141:3
    Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
  7. Cross References
    Jeremiah 25:10
    Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp.
    Revelation 18:22
    And the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more.
  8. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 2:8
    I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the children of man.
  9. Cross References
    Proverbs 26:13
    The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!
  10. Cross References
    Psalms 143:3
    For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
  11. Cross References
    Job 17:13
    If I hope for Sheol as my house, if I make my bed in darkness.
    Job 30:23
    For I know that you will bring me to death and to the house appointed for all living.
    Isaiah 14:18
    All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb.
  12. Cross References
    2 Chronicles 35:25
    Jeremiah also uttered a lament for Josiah; and all the singing men and singing women have spoken of Josiah in their laments to this day. They made these a rule in Israel; behold, they are written in the Laments.
    Jeremiah 9:17
    Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skillful women to come.
    Matthew 9:23
    And when Jesus came to the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion.
  13. Cross References
    Zechariah 4:2 - 3
    And he said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it.
  14. Cross References
    Isaiah 30:14
    And its breaking is like that of a potter's vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found with which to take fire from the hearth, or to dip up water out of the cistern.
  15. Cross References
    Psalms 90:3
    You return man to dust and say, "Return, O children of man!
    Psalms 103:14
    For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
    Ecclesiastes 3:20
    All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.
    Job 34:15
    All flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.
  16. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 3:21
    Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?
  17. Cross References
    Job 34:14
    If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath.
    Isaiah 57:16
    For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made.
    Zechariah 12:1
    The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him:
    Genesis 2:7
    Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
  18. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:2
    Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
  19. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:1
    The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
  20. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 12:8
    Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.
  21. Cross References
    Proverbs 1:1
    The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
  22. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 12:8
    Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.
  23. Cross References
    Proverbs 22:17
    Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge.
  24. Cross References
    Ezra 9:8
    But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our slavery.
    Isaiah 22:23
    And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house.
  25. Cross References
    Proverbs 1:6
    To understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.
    Proverbs 2:6
    For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
  26. Cross References
    Psalms 80:1
    Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
    Ezekiel 34:23
    And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
    John 10:11
    I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
    John 10:16
    And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
  27. Cross References
    1 Kings 4:32 - 33
    He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005.
  28. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 1:18
    For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
  29. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 5:7
    For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.
    Deuteronomy 6:2
    That you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.
    Deuteronomy 10:12
    And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
  30. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 11:9
    Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let yo...
    Job 19:29
    Be afraid of the sword, for wrath brings the pu...
    Matthew 12:36
    I tell you, on the day of judgment people will ...
    Acts 17:31
    Because he has fixed a day on which he will jud...
    Romans 2:16
    On that day when, according to my gospel, God j...
    Romans 14:10
    Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or yo...
    Romans 14:12
    So then each of us will give an account of hims...
    1 Corinthians 4:5
    Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the ...
    Ecclesiastes 3:15
    That which is, already has been; that which is ...
    Ecclesiastes 3:17
    I said in my heart, God will judge the righteou...
    Genesis 18:25
    Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put t...
    Psalms 58:11
    Mankind will say, "Surely there is a reward for...
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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