Cast Your Bread upon the Waters1 a Cast your bread upon the waters,
b for you will find it after many days.
2 c Give a portion to d seven, or even to eight,
e for 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 f the spirit comes to g the bones in the womb ▼
▼ Some Hebrew manuscripts, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts As you do not know the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the wombof 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 i withhold 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 j see the sun. 8 So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember k that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is l vanity. ▼
▼ The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verse 10 (see note on 1:2)9 n Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. o Walk in the ways of your heart and p the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things q God will bring you into judgment. 10 Remove vexation from your heart, and r put away pain ▼
▼ Or evilfrom your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.
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