Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Ecclesiastes 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism picks up on this verse but characterizes it in terms of giving glory to God.

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

The Book of Ecclesiastes ends with this chapter which is a marvelous image of growing old.

You can read Gill’s overview, but it is definitely worth the time to actually study individual verses and phrases. Or listen to Max read it!

INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 12 Gill

This chapter begins with advice to young men, which is continued from the preceding; and particularly to remember their Creator in the days of their youth; enforced from the consideration of the troubles and inconveniences of old age, Ecc 12:1; which, in an allegorical way, is beautifully described, Ecc 12:2; and from the certainty of death, when it would be too late, Ecc 12:7. And then the wise man returns to his first proposition, and which he kept in view all along, that all is vanity in youth or old age, Ecc 12:8; and recommends the reading of this book, from the diligence, pains and labour, he used in composing it; from the sententious matter in it; from the agreeable, acceptable, and well chosen words, in which he had expressed it; and from the wisdom, uprightness, truth, efficacy, and authority of the doctrines of it, Ecc 12:9; and from its preference to other books, which were wearisome both to author and reader, Ecc 12:12. And it is concluded with the scope and design, the sum and substance of the whole of it, reducible to these two heads; the fear of God, and obedience to him, Ecc 12:13; and which are urged from the consideration of a future judgment, into which all things shall be brought, Ecc 12:14.

Ecc 12:1  Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

Ecc 12:2  While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

Ecc 12:3  In 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 that look out of the windows be darkened,

Ecc 12:4  And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

Ecc 12:5  Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Ecc 12:6  Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

Ecc 12:7  Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Ecc 12:8  Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

Ecc 12:9  And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.

Ecc 12:10  The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

Ecc 12:11  The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

Ecc 12:12  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Ecc 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Ecc 12:14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

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