The Problems of Old Age
1Remember your Creator
while you are young,
before the days of trouble come
and the years when you say,
“I find no pleasure in them.”
2When you get old,
the light from the sun, moon, and stars will grow dark;
the rain clouds will never seem to go away.
3At that time your arms will shake
and your legs will become weak.
Your teeth will fall out so you cannot chew,
and your eyes will not see clearly.
4Your ears will be deaf to the noise in the streets,
and you will barely hear the millstone grinding grain.
You’ll wake up when a bird starts singing,
but you will barely hear singing.
5You will fear high places
and will be afraid to go for a walk.
Your hair will become white like the flowers on an almond tree.
You will limp along like a grasshopper when you walk.
Your appetite will be gone.
Then you will go to your everlasting home,
and people will go to your funeral.
6Soon your life will snap like a silver chain
or break like a golden bowl.
You will be like a broken pitcher at a spring,
or a broken wheel at a well.
7You will turn back into the dust of the earth again,
but your spirit will return to God who gave it.
8Everything is useless!
The Teacher says that everything is useless.
Conclusion: Honor God
9The Teacher was very wise and taught the people what he knew. He very carefully thought about, studied, and set in order many wise teachings. 10The Teacher looked for just the right words to write what is dependable and true.
11Words from wise people are like sharp sticks used to guide animals. They are like nails that have been driven in firmly. Altogether they are wise teachings that come from one Shepherd. 12So be careful, my son, about other teachings. People are always writing books, and too much study will make you tired.
13Now, everything has been heard,
so I give my final advice:
Honor God and obey his commands,
because this is all people must do.
14God will judge everything,
even what is done in secret,
the good and the evil.