Cast Your Bread on the Waters
1Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, [be diligently active, make thoughtful decisions], for you will #I.e. be richly rewarded.find it after many days. 2Give a portion to seven, or even [divide it] to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth. 3If the clouds are full [of rain], they empty themselves on the earth; and if a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it lies. 4He who watches the wind [waiting for all conditions to be perfect] will not sow [seed], and he who looks at the clouds will not reap [a harvest]. 5Just as you do not know the way and path of the wind or how the bones are formed in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.
6Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle with your hands in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening planting will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
7The light is sweet and pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun. 8Yes, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that is to come will be futility.
9Rejoice, young man, in your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant in the days of your young manhood. And walk in the ways of your heart and in the desires of your eyes, but know that God will bring you into judgment for all these things. 10Therefore, remove sorrow and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, for childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.