1 While you are still young, keep thinking about God, who created you.
Do that before you are old and you experience many troubles,
during the years when you say
“I no longer enjoy being alive.”
2 When you become old, the light from the sun and moon and stars will seem dim to you,
and it will seem that the rain clouds always return quickly after it rains.
3 Then your arms that you use to protect [MET] your bodies will shake/tremble,
and your legs that support [MET] your bodies will become weak.
Many of your teeth that you use to grind/chew your food will fall out,
and your eyes that you use to look out of windows will not see clearly.
4 Your ears [MET] will not hear the noise in the streets,
and you will not be able to hear clearly the sound of people grinding grain with millstones.
You will be awakened in the morning by hearing the birds singing/chirping,
but you will not be able to hear well the songs that ◄the birds/people► sing.
5 You will be afraid to be in high places
and afraid of dangers on the roads that you walk on.
Your hair will become white like [MET] the flowers of almond trees.
When you try to walk, you will drag yourself along like [MET] grasshoppers,
and you will no longer desire to have sex.
Then you will die and go to your eternal home,
and people who will mourn for you will be in the streets.
6 Think much about God now, because soon our lives will end,
like [MET] silver chains or golden bowls that break easily,
or like pitchers/jugs that are broken at the water fountain,
or like broken pulleys at a well.
7 Then our corpses will decay and become dirt again,
and our spirits will return to God, the one who gave us our spirits.
8 So I say again that it is difficult to understand why everything happens;
everything is mysterious.
9 I was considered to be a very wise man, and I taught the people many things. I assembled/collected and wrote down many proverbs, and I carefully thought about and studied them. 10 I searched for the right words, and what I have written is reliable and true.
11 The things that I and other wise people say teach people what they should do; they are like [SIM] ◄goads/sharp sticks that people use to strike animals to direct where they should go►. They are like [SIM] nails that stick out of pieces of wood. They are given to us by God, who is like [MET] our shepherd. 12 So, my son, pay careful attention to what I have written, and choose carefully what you read that others have written, because writing proverbs/books is endless, and trying to study them all will cause you to become exhausted.
13 Now you have heard all that I have told you,
and here is the conclusion:
Revere God, and obey his commandments,
because those commandments summarize everything that people should do.
14 And do not forget that God will judge everything that we do,
good things and bad things,
even things that we do secretly.