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Ecclesiastes 11:4-6The Message (MSG)

3-4 When the clouds are full of water, it rains.
When the wind blows down a tree, it lies where it falls.
Don’t sit there watching the wind. Do your own work.
Don’t stare at the clouds. Get on with your life.

Just as you’ll never understand
    the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman,
So you’ll never understand
    the mystery at work in all that God does.

Go to work in the morning
    and stick to it until evening without watching the clock.
You never know from moment to moment
    how your work will turn out in the end.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Ecclesiastes 11:4-6New Living Translation (NLT)

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.
    If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb,[a] so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.

Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.

Footnotes:

  1. 11:5 Some manuscripts read Just as you cannot understand how breath comes to a tiny baby in its mother’s womb.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Ecclesiastes 11:4-6New King James Version (NKJV)

He who observes the wind will not sow,
And he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know what is the way of the wind,[a]
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.
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.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 11:5 Or spirit
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Ecclesiastes 11:4-6English Standard Version (ESV)

He who observes the wind will not sow,
    and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the way 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 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
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Ecclesiastes 11:4-6Contemporary English Version (CEV)

If you worry about the weather
and don’t plant seeds,
    you won’t harvest a crop.

No one can explain how a baby breathes before it is born.[a] So how can anyone explain what God does? After all, he created everything.

Plant your seeds early in the morning and keep working in the field until dark. Who knows? Your work might pay off, and your seeds might produce.

Footnotes:

  1. 11.5 how. . . born: Or “what makes the wind blow or how a baby grows inside its mother.”
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