1 Keep your Creator in mind while you are young! In years to come, you will be burdened down with troubles and say, “I don't enjoy life anymore.”

2 Someday the light of the sun
and the moon and the stars
will all seem dim to you.
Rain clouds will remain
over your head.
3 Your body will grow feeble,
your teeth will decay,
and your eyesight fail.
4 The noisy grinding of grain
and the voices of singers
will be shut out
by your deaf ears,
but even the song of a bird
will keep you awake.

5 You will be afraid
to climb up a hill
or walk down a road.
Your hair will turn as white
as almond blossoms.
You will feel lifeless
and drag along
like an old grasshopper.

We each go to our eternal home,
and the streets here are filled
with those who mourn.
6 The silver cord snaps,
the golden bowl breaks;
the water pitcher is smashed,
and the pulley at the well
is shattered.
7 So our bodies return
to the earth,
and the life-giving breath
returns to God.
8 Nothing makes sense.
I have seen it all—
nothing makes sense.
Respect and Obey God
9 I was a wise teacher with much understanding, and I collected a number of proverbs that I had carefully studied. 10 Then I tried to explain these things in the best and most accurate way.
11 Words of wisdom are like the stick a farmer uses to make animals move. These sayings come from a shepherd, and they are like nails that fasten things together. 12 My child, I warn you to stay away from any teachings except these.

There is no end to books,
and too much study
will wear you out.

13 Everything you were taught can be put into a few words:

Respect and obey God!
This is what life
is all about.
14 God will judge
everything we do,
even what is done in secret,
whether good or bad.