Ecclesiastes 12: The Conclusion

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 137


If you knew you were going to die one week from today, what would you do in your last days?Ecclesiastes 12 contains the preacher’s concluding message. He reminded the young to live well while they are still able, for the day will come that they will die. The last two verses of Ecclesiastes 12 give us the first real idea that he believed in the eternal nature of life. These verses suggest that in the previous eleven and one-half chapters the preacher tried to prove that life without God has little meaning, but that living a good life still makes sense. Living a good life makes even more sense when we know that life is eternal and that we will someday stand before God and be judged. For this reason, the last two verses of Ecclesiastes 12 are the real message of the book.

Understanding the Scriptures

Ecclesiastes 12

Draw nigh (v. 1)Come near 
Keepers (v. 3)Watchmen 
Tremble (v. 3)Become old 
Flourish (v. 5)Be rejected 
Be a burden (v. 5)Drag along 
Long home (v. 5)Death 
Cistern (v. 6)Well 
Gave good heed (v. 9)Paid attention 
Set in order (v. 9)Wrote 
Goads (v. 11)Sharp, pointed sticks 
Admonished (v. 12)Warned and taught 
Is a weariness of the flesh (v. 12)Makes you tired 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Ecclesiastes 12.

Activity A iconMake a Poster

  1. 1.

    Make a poster (at least the size of one page in your notebook) of what Ecclesiastes says is the whole duty of man.

  2. 2.

    According to Ecclesiastes 12:13–14, what reason is there for us knowing and doing this “whole duty”?