This sermon concludes the series on the Book of Ecclesiastes. The narrator concludes the book by endorsing the Teacher’s words, telling us the intended effect on us, and summarizing what’s most important after all has been heard.
New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
8 Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher; all is vanity.
9 Besides being wise, the Teacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs. 10 The Teacher sought to find pleasing words, and he wrote words of truth plainly.
11 The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd.[a] 12 Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of everyone. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including[b] every secret thing, whether good or evil.
New International Version
8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.[a]
“Everything is meaningless!”
The Conclusion of the Matter
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd.[b] 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.