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Bible Reference

Ecclesiastes 11:1-10

Cast Your Bread upon the Waters

1Cast your bread upon the waters,

for you will find it after many days.

2Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,

for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.

3If the clouds are full of rain,

they empty themselves on the earth,

and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,

in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.

4He who observes the wind will not sow,

and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

5As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb1 of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

6In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

7Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

8So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.2

9Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

10Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain3 from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Footnotes

  • 1 11:5 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts As you do not know the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb
  • 2 11:8 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verse 10 (see note on 1:2)
  • 3 11:10 Or evil