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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 12

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1Remember your Creator in thedays of your youth, before the evil days come And the years approach of which youwill say, I have no pleasure in them; 2Before the sun is darkened, and the light, and the moon, and thestars, while the clouds return* after the rain; 3When the guardians* of the housetremble, and the strong men are bent, And the grinders are idle because theyare few, and they who look through thewindows grow blind; 4When the doors* to the street are shut, and the sound of the mill is low; When one waits for the chirp of a bird, but all the daughters of song aresuppressed; 5And one fears heights, and perils in the street; When the almond tree blooms,* and the locust grows sluggish and the caper berry is without effect, Because man goes to his lasting home, and mourners go about the streets; 6Before the silver cord is snapped and the golden bowl* is broken, And the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the broken pulley falls into thewell, 7And the dust returns to the earth as itonce was, and the life breath returns to God whogave it. i Eccl 3, 20f; Jb 34, 15 .

8Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, all things are vanity! j Eccl 1, 2 .

Epilogue. 9Besides being wise, Qoheleth taught the people knowledge, and weighed, scrutinized and arranged many proverbs. 10Qoheleth sought to find pleasing sayings, and to write down true sayings with precision. 11The sayings of the wise are like goads; like fixed spikes are the topics given by one collector.* 12 k Eccl 1, 18 . As to more than these, my son, beware. Of the making of many books there is no end, and in much study there is weariness for the flesh.

13 l Eccl 5, 6 . The last word, when all is heard: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is man's all;* 14 m Eccl 11, 9 . because God will bring to judgment every work, with all its hidden qualities, whether good or bad.

Notes:

i: Eccl 3, 20f; Jb 34, 15 .

j: Eccl 1, 2 .

k: Eccl 1, 18 .

l: Eccl 5, 6 .

m: Eccl 11, 9 .

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