The Conclusion when all has been said…

So what is the BARE-MINIMUM,

most-important {don’t neglect this part} when-all-ELSE-fails, if you could only CHOOSE  [O N E]  THING, the most ESSENTIAL [ just-o n e ] thing, the when-all-is-said-and-DONE deal our lives should have been {SHOULD  B E} about?

A conglomeration of Ecc. 12  (yes, the WHOLE chapter) from about 4 different translations and paraphrases…


Ecclesiastes 12

 1 Remember [earnestly] your Creator [you are not your own, you are His property now]

       in the days of your youth,
       before the days of evil and trouble come
       and the years, the winter years that keep you close to a fire, approach, taking their toll [draw near] when you will say,
       “I find no pleasure have no delight, no enjoyment in them”-

 2 before the sun and the light
       and the moon and the stars grow dark [your sight is impaired] life gets blurry,
       and the clouds [of depression] return after the rain [of tears];

 3 when the keepers of the house [your arms and your hands] tremble,
       and the strong men [the feet and the knees] stoop [bow themselves],
       when the grinders [the molar teeth] cease because they are few,
       and those [the eyes] looking through the windows grow dim;

 In old age, your body no longer serves you so well.
   Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen

 4 when the doors [the lips] to the street are closed
       and the sound of grinding [of the teeth] fades [is low];
       when men rise up at the sound of birds and the crowing of a rooster,
       but all [the daughters of the music – the voice and ear] their songs grow faint [low];

You are wakened now by bird-song.
   Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past.         

 5 when men [the old] are afraid of heights [danger from that which is high]  
       and of dangers in the streets [fears are in the way];
       when the almond tree [their white hair] blossoms
       and the grasshopper [a small thing] drags himself along [is a burden]
       and desire no longer is stirred [even appetite fails].
       Then man goes to his eternal, everlasting home
       and mourners go about the streets [or marketplaces].

 6 Remember him [your Creator earnestly now]

—before the silver cord [of life, the spinal cord] is severed [snapped apart],
       or the golden bowl is broken;
       before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
       or the wheel broken at the well [and the whole circulatory system of the blood ceases to function],

Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
   Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.

 7 and the dust [out of which God made man’s body] returns to the ground, the earth it came from, once again as it was
       and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

 8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” [Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities] says the Preacher/Teacher.
       “Everything is meaningless! [Futile, empty, vainglory, vanity, false, transitory]”

The Conclusion of the Matter

 9 [Furthermore] Not only was the Preacher/Teacher wise, but also he imparted [still taught] knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.

10 The Preacher/Teacher, the Shepherd [sought acceptable words], actually searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true [his goal to write words of truth and correct sentiments].

Besides being wise himself, [he]…also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs. [He] did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth.         

 11 The words of the wise are like (prodding) goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails [firmly fixed in the mind like nails]—given [proceeding] by [from] one Shepherd.

like nails hammered home, holding life together.
   They are given by God, the one Shepherd.


12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them [never go further than the words given by the one Shepherd].
      Of making many books there is no end [so don’t believe everything you read], and much study wearies the body [the flesh].

 13 Now all has been heard;

       here is the conclusion [the end] of the matter when all has been heard: 

  Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep his commandments,      

for this is the whole duty of [for every] man [the whole, full, original purpose of His creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun].

The last and final word is this:

   Fear God.
   Do what he tells you.

 And that’s it.

 14 For God will bring every deed [every work] into judgment,
       including every hidden [secret] thing,
       whether it is good or evil 

My sister, Robin, has a quote at her FB info page attributed to Harriet Tubman: “Life is hard, then you die.”  It is true.  Life is hard, nearly unbearable at times, but it is also good beyond belief.  It hurts and tears and wounds, then we are surprised by a joy so deep we know it is eternal.  When we are young, we are usually too stupid to understad the power and privilege of it.  When we are old, the most enduring thing we can do is take all of what we have learned on all these trips around-the-block and impart it to the young (see verses 9-11).  If they have a heart after wisdom, they will hear you.

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