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CHAPTER 12 May 3 
Youth, Age and Life’s End
1Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw near, when you will say, I have no pleasure in them; 2Before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain; 3in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look out of the windows are darkened, 4and the doors shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; 5yes, they shall be afraid of heights,  and terrors will be in the way; and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goes to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the spring, or the wheel broken at the cistern,  and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

The Preacher’s Final Thoughts
8Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher. All is vanity! 9Further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge. Yes, he pondered, sought out, and set in order many proverbs. 10The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written blamelessly, words of truth. 11The words of the wise are like goads; and like nails well fastened are words from the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. 12Furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil.


12:2 And the clouds return after the rain- Solomon’s father, David, had in his old age rejoiced in the prospect of God’s Kingdom coming on earth at Christ’s return, which he imagined would be like the clear shining after the rain (2 Sam. 23:4). Solomon in his old age saw only negativity, the return of the clouds, whereas David in old age looked ahead with hope to the Kingdom. Whilst Solomon spoke so often of his father David, he failed to personally grasp the wonder of the hope of Christ and His Kingdom which his father had; for this cannot be passed on through the generations, that wonder has to be learnt from experience and years of spiritual devotion.
12:3-5 This is a picture of a man in old age, perhaps based upon Solomon himself, having lost his strength and his teeth (“the grinders”), with darkened eyesight, poor of hearing and jumpy, scared of heights having lost his balance, with white hair like the almond tree and having lost sexual desire. Solomon presents this picture of man at his last end to those yet young, with the appeal to therefore not waste life ingratiating the senses, but rather in serving God.