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Ecclesiastes 12:13 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [This is] the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole [duty] of man.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— The conclusion, when all has been heard, [is]: fear God and keep His commandments, because this [applies to] every person.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Let us hear the end of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole of man.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— The conclusion of the matter—the whole, let us hear,—Towards God, be reverent, and, his commandments, observe, for, this, [concerneth] all mankind.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— The end of the whole matter let us hear:—'Fear God, and keep His commands, for this [is] the whole of man.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Let us all hear together the conclusion of the discourse. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Let vs heare the conclusion of the whole matter: Feare God, and keepe his commandements, for this [is] the whole [duetie] of man.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Hear the end of the matter, the sun: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole man.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohim, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Let us hear 8085
{8085} Prime
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
the conclusion 5490
{5490} Prime
From H5486; a termination.
of the whole x3605
(3605) Complement
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
matter: 1697
{1697} Prime
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
Fear 3372
{3372} Prime
A primitive root; to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten.
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
lhm אֱלֹהִים, 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
and keep 8104
{8104} Prime
A primitive root; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
his commandments: 4687
{4687} Prime
From H6680; a command, whether human or divine (collectively the Law).
for x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
this x2088
(2088) Complement
A primitive word; the masculine demonstrative pronoun, this or that.
[is] the whole x3605
(3605) Complement
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
[duty] of man. 120
{0120} Prime
From H0119; ruddy, that is, a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ecclesiastes 12:13

_ _ The grand inference of the whole book.

_ _ Fear God — The antidote to following creature idols, and “vanities,” whether self-righteousness (Ecclesiastes 7:16, Ecclesiastes 7:18), or wicked oppression and other evils (Ecclesiastes 8:12, Ecclesiastes 8:13), or mad mirth (Ecclesiastes 2:2; Ecclesiastes 7:2-5), or self-mortifying avarice (Ecclesiastes 8:13, Ecclesiastes 8:17), or youth spent without God (Ecclesiastes 11:9; Ecclesiastes 12:1).

_ _ this is the whole duty of man — literally, “this is the whole man,” the full ideal of man, as originally contemplated, realized wholly by Jesus Christ alone; and, through Him, by saints now in part, hereafter perfectly (1 John 3:22-24; Revelation 22:14).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

_ _ The great enquiry which Solomon prosecutes in this book is, What is that good which the sons of men should do? Ecclesiastes 2:3. What is the true way to true happiness, the certain means to attain our great end? He had in vain sought it among those things which most men are eager in pursuit of, but here, at length, he has found it, by the help of that discovery which God anciently made to man (Job 28:28), that serious godliness is the only way to true happiness: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, the return entered upon the writ of enquiry, the result of this diligent search; you shall have all I have been driving at in two words. He does not say, Do you hear it, but Let us hear it; for preachers must themselves be hearers of that word which they preach to others, must hear it as from God; those are teachers by the halves who teach others and not themselves, Romans 2:21. Every word of God is pure and precious, but some words are worthy of more special remark, as this; the Masorites begin it with a capital letter, as that Deuteronomy 6:4. Solomon himself puts a nota bene before it, demanding attention in these words, Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Observe here,

_ _ I. The summary of religion. Setting aside all matters of doubtful disputation, to be religious is to fear God and keep his commandments. 1. The root of religion is fear of God reigning in the heart, and a reverence of his majesty, a deference to his authority, and a dread of his wrath. Fear God, that is, worship God, give him the honour due to his name, in all the instances of true devotion, inward and outward. See Revelation 14:7. 2. The rule of religion is the law of God revealed in the scriptures. Our fear towards God must be taught by his commandments (Isaiah 29:13), and those we must keep and carefully observe. Wherever the fear of God is uppermost in the heart, there will be a respect to all his commandments and care to keep them. In vain do we pretend to fear God if we do not make conscience of our duty to him.

_ _ II. The vast importance of it: This is the whole of man; it is all his business and all his blessedness; our whole duty is summed up in this and our whole comfort is bound up in this. It is the concern of every man, and ought to be his chief and continual care; it is the common concern of all men, of their whole time. It is nothing to a man whether he be rich or poor, high or low, but it is the main matter, it is all in all to a man, to fear God and do as he bids him.

_ _ III. A powerful inducement to this, Ecclesiastes 12:14. We shall see of what vast consequence it is to us that we be religious if we consider the account we must every one of us shortly give of himself to God; thence he argued against a voluptuous and vicious life (Ecclesiastes 11:9), and here for a religious life: God shall bring every work into judgment. Note, 1. There is a judgment to come, in which every man's eternal state will be finally determined. 2. God himself will be the Judge, God-man will, not only because he has a right to judge, but because he is perfectly fit for it, infinitely wise and just. 3. Every work will then be brought into judgment, will be enquired into and called over again. It will be a day to bring to remembrance every thing done in the body. 4. The great thing to be then judged of concerning every work is whether it be good or evil, conformable to the will of God or a violation of it. 5. Even secret things, both good and evil, will be brought to light, and brought to account, in the judgment of the great day (Romans 2:16); there is no good work, no bad work, hid, but shall then be made manifest. 6. In consideration of the judgment to come, and the strictness of that judgment, it highly concerns us now to be very strict in our walking with God, that we may give up our account with joy.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ecclesiastes 12:13

The conclusion — The sum of all that hath been said or written by wise men. Fear God — Which is put here, for all the inward worship of God, reverence, and love, and trust, and a devotedness of heart to serve and please him. The whole — It is his whole work and business, his whole perfection and happiness; it is the sum of what he need either know, or do, or enjoy.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
or, The end of the matter, even all that hath been heard is


Ecclesiastes 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words [there are] also [divers] vanities: but fear thou God.
Ecclesiastes 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his [days] be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:
Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.
Deuteronomy 6:2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.
Psalms 112:1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed [is] the man [that] feareth the LORD, [that] delighteth greatly in his commandments.
Psalms 145:19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
Psalms 147:11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but [be thou] in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
1 Peter 2:17 Honour all [men]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
Revelation 19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.


Ecclesiastes 2:3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what [was] that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knoweth what [is] good for man in [this] life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.
Psalms 115:13-15 He will bless them that fear the LORD, [both] small and great. ... Ye [are] blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD [tendeth] to life: and [he that hath it] shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
Luke 1:50 And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 22:12. Dt 6:2; 10:12. Jb 28:28. Ps 111:10; 112:1; 115:13; 145:19; 147:11. Pv 1:7; 19:23; 23:17. Ec 2:3; 5:7; 6:12; 8:12. Lk 1:50. 1P 2:17. Rv 19:5.

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