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Ecclesiastes 11Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The Value of Diligence

11 Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
    for you know not what evil may happen on earth.
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.
He who observes the wind will not sow;
    and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb[a] of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

In 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.

Youth and Old Age

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

For if a man 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.

Rejoice, 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.

10 Remove vexation from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.


  1. Ecclesiastes 11:5 Or As you do not know the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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