1 While you are young, you should worship God.
In future years, you will say, ‘I do not enjoy my life any longer.’
2 In the end, you will not see the light that comes from the sun.
And will you not see the moon or the stars.
There will always be black clouds in the sky.
3 Your arms will move from one side to the other side when you do not want them to move.
Your legs will become weak.
You will have only a few teeth.
Your eyes will not see well.
4 Your ears will not hear well.
You will not hear the noise of people at their work.
At night, you will not sleep well.
But you will hear the birds when they sing. Then you will wake up because of that.
5 You will be afraid to climb up a hill.
You will be afraid to walk along a road.
Your hair will become white.
It will be like white flowers on a bush.
You will feel very tired all the time.
And you will not want to have sex any longer.
We will all die in the end.
When we die, people will be sad.
Many of them will be on the streets.
And they will cry because we have died.
6 In the end, the valuable jar will break.
The water pot will break. The rope at the well will break.
You will not get water from the well any longer.
7 So, in the end, we will all die.
People will bury our dead bodies under the ground.
Our spirits will return to God.
8 Nothing on the earth has a purpose.
I have seen all the things that happen on the earth.
None of them has a purpose.
Worship God and obey him
9 I was a wise teacher and I saw many things. I wrote down all the proverbs that I had studied. 10 I saw all the things that happen on the earth. I tried to explain them. My words are all true. 11 A farmer uses a stick when he wants his animals to move. Proverbs are like the stick that the farmer uses. Proverbs come from God. He is like a guide because he shows us the way to live. He uses proverbs to do that.
12 You are my son. So listen to what I say. Do not listen when people teach you other things. There are many books. If you study them all, you will be very tired.
13 With a few words, I can describe everything that you must know. You should worship God. He says to you what you should do. And you should do what he says. That is our duty. 14 We may do good things. Sometimes we do wrong things. We think that nobody sees us. But God sees the things that we do. And he will ask us to explain the answer to this question: ‘What have we done with our lives here on the earth?’
12:14In the first part of this chapter, the writer describes old age and death. We should know that God sees us. And we should remember that when we do things in our lives. We should worship God. Also, God says to us what we should do. And we should do what he says. We may not understand why things happen anyway. But on a future day, God will ask us to explain how we have lived here on the earth.