The Problems of Old Age
12 Remember your ·Creator [or health]
·while you are young [L in the days of your youth],
before the days of ·trouble [evil] come
and the years when you say,
“I find no ·pleasure [delight] in them.”
2 When you get old,
the light from the sun, moon, and stars will grow dark,
and the rain clouds ·will never seem to go away [L return after the rain].
3 At that time ·your arms [L the guards of the house] will shake
and ·your legs [L the landowners] will ·become weak [bend].
·Your teeth will fall out so you cannot chew [L The grinders cease because they are few; C women who grind grain],
and ·your eyes will not see clearly [L those who look through the windows grow dim; C another group of women].
4 ·Your ears will be deaf to the noise [L The doors are shut] in the streets,
and ·you will barely hear the millstone grinding grain [L the sound of grinding decreases].
·You’ll wake up when a bird starts singing [L One rises at the sound of a bird],
·but you will barely hear singing [L and the daughters of song are brought low].
5 ·You [L They] will fear high places
and ·will be afraid to go for a walk [L the terrors of the street].
·Your hair will become white like the flowers on an almond tree [L The almond tree blossoms].
·You will limp along like a grasshopper when you walk [L The grasshopper drags itself along].
Your ·appetite [or sexual desire] will be gone.
Then ·you will [L people] go to ·your [L their] everlasting home [C the grave],
and ·people will go to your funeral [L mourners walk around in the street].
6 Soon ·your life will snap like a silver chain [L the silver thread will be snapped]
·or break like a golden bowl [L and the golden bowl will be crushed].
·You will be like a broken pitcher at a spring [L The jar will be broken by the well],
·or a broken wheel at a well [L and the wheel crushed by the cistern; C metaphors of death].
7 ·You will turn back into the dust of the earth again [L The dust will return to the earth as it was],
·but your [L and the] spirit will return to God who gave it [3:21; Gen. 2:7; 3:19].
Conclusion: Honor God
9 The ·Teacher [or Preacher; L Assembler; 1:1] was ·wise [a wise man/sage] and taught the people ·what he knew [L knowledge]. He ·very carefully thought about [L heard], ·studied [investigated], and set in order many ·wise teachings [L proverbs]. 10 The ·Teacher [or Preacher; L Assembler; 1:1] ·looked for just the right words [L sought to find words of delight] and to write what is ·dependable [honest] and true.
11 Words from wise people are like ·sharp sticks used to guide animals [goads]. They are like nails that have been driven in firmly. Altogether they are wise teachings that come from ·one Shepherd [or a shepherd]. 12 So be ·careful [warned], my son. ·People are always writing [There is no end to the making of many] books, and too much study ·will make you tired [wearies the body].
13 Now, the end of the matter; everything has been heard:
·Honor [Fear] God [Prov. 1:7] and obey his commands,
because this is ·all people must do [L the whole duty of humanity].
14 God will ·judge everything [L bring every deed into judgment],
even ·what is done in secret [every hidden thing],
the good and the evil.