Cast Your Bread upon the Waters
11 fCast your bread upon the waters,
gfor you will find it after many days.
2 hGive a portion to iseven, or even to eight,
jfor you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
3 If 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.
4 He who observes the wind will not sow,
and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the way kthe spirit comes to lthe bones in the womb1 of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
6 In the morning sow your seed, and at evening mwithhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to nsee the sun.
8 So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember othat the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is pvanity.2
9 qRejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. rWalk in the ways of your heart and sthe sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things tGod will bring you into judgment.
10 Remove vexation from your heart, and uput away pain3 from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.
Remember Your Creator in Your Youth
12 Remember also your Creator in vthe days of your youth, before wthe evil days come and the years draw near of which xyou will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before ythe sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, 3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and zthose who look through the windows are dimmed, 4 and athe doors on the street are shut—when bthe sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all cthe daughters of song are brought low— 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and dterrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,1 and desire fails, because man is going to his eeternal fhome, and the gmourners go about the streets— 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or hthe golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is ishattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and jthe dust returns to the earth as it was, and kthe spirit returns to God lwho gave it. 8 mVanity2 of vanities, says nthe Preacher; all is vanity.
Fear God and Keep His Commandments
9 Besides being wise, nthe Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging omany proverbs with great care. 10 nThe Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.
11 pThe words of the wise are like goads, and like qnails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are rgiven by sone Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making umany books there is no end, and vmuch study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. wFear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.3 14 For xGod will bring every deed into judgment, with4 every secret thing, whether good or evil.
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
Or is a burden
The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (three times in this verse); see note on 1:2
Or the duty of all mankind
Or into the judgment on