Ecclesiastes 11-12 Common English Bible (CEB)
Take risks; life is short
11 Send your bread out on the water because, in the course of time, you may find it again. 2 Give a portion to seven people, even to eight: you don’t know what disaster may come upon the land. 3 If clouds fill up, they will empty out rain on the earth. If a tree falls, whether to the south or to the north, wherever it falls, there it will lie. 4 Those who watch the wind blow will never sow, and those who observe the clouds will never reap. 5 Just as you don’t understand what the life-breath does in the fetus[a] inside a pregnant woman’s womb, so you can’t understand the work of God, who makes everything happen. 6 Scatter your seed in the morning, and in the evening don’t be idle because you don’t know which will succeed, this one or that, or whether both will be equally good.
7 Sweet is the light, and it’s pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. 8 Even those who live many years should take pleasure in them all. But they should be mindful that there will also be many dark days. Everything that happens is pointless.
9 Rejoice, young person, while you are young! Your heart should make you happy in your prime. Follow your heart’s inclinations and whatever your eyes see, but know this: God will call you to account for all of these things. 10 Remove anxiety from your heart, banish pain from your body, because youth and the dawn of life are pointless too.
Troubling days to come
12 Remember your creator in your prime,
Motto and conclusion
8 Perfectly pointless, says the Teacher, everything is pointless.
9 Additionally: Because the Teacher was wise, he constantly taught the people knowledge. He listened and investigated. He composed many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched for pleasing words, and he wrote truthful words honestly.
11 The words of the wise are like iron-tipped prods;
There’s no end to the excessive production of scrolls. Studying too much wearies the body. 13 So this is the end of the matter; all has been heard. Worship God and keep God’s commandments because this is what everyone must do. 14 God will definitely bring every deed to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or bad.