Cast Your Bread on the Waters

Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it [a]after many days. Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth. If the clouds are full, they pour out rain on the earth; and whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it [b]lies. One who watches the wind will not sow and one who looks at the clouds will not harvest. Just as you do not know the path of the [c]wind, and how bones are formed in the womb of the [d]pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes everything.

Sow your seed in the morning and do not [e]be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether [f]one or the other will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun. Indeed, if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility.

Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the [g]impulses of your heart and the [h]desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. 10 So remove [i]sorrow from your heart and keep [j]pain away from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are [k]fleeting.


  1. Ecclesiastes 11:1 Lit in, within
  2. Ecclesiastes 11:3 Lit is
  3. Ecclesiastes 11:5 Or with many mss spirit into the bones in the womb
  4. Ecclesiastes 11:5 Lit full
  5. Ecclesiastes 11:6 Lit let down your hand
  6. Ecclesiastes 11:6 Lit this or that
  7. Ecclesiastes 11:9 Lit ways
  8. Ecclesiastes 11:9 Lit sights
  9. Ecclesiastes 11:10 Or anger
  10. Ecclesiastes 11:10 Lit evil
  11. Ecclesiastes 11:10 Lit futility