11 Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days. 2 Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain, They empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall 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 what is the way of the [a]wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. 6 In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.
7 Truly the light is sweet, And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun; 8 But if a man lives many years Andrejoices in them all, Yet let him remember the days of darkness, For they will be many. All that is coming is vanity.
Seek God in Early Life
9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the [b]ways of your heart, And [c]in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. 10 Therefore remove [d]sorrow from your heart, And put away evil from your flesh, For childhood and [e]youth are vanity.
Seek God in Early Life
12 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the [f]difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: 2 While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened, And the clouds do not return after the rain; 3 In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, And the strong men bow down; When the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look through the windows grow dim; 4 When the doors are shut in the streets, And the sound of grinding is low; When one rises up at the sound of a bird, And all the daughters of music are brought low. 5 Also they are afraid of height, And of terrors in the way; When the almond tree blossoms, The grasshopper is a burden, And desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is [g]loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well. 7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
8 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.”
The Whole Duty of Man
9 And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out andset[h] in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find [i]acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of [j]scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. 12 And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.
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