Ecclesiastes 11
New American Bible Revised Edition

1* Send forth your bread upon the face of the waters;

after a long time you may find it again.

2Make seven, or even eight portions;

you know not what misfortune may come upon the earth.

No One Knows What Good Will Come

3* When the clouds are full,

they pour out rain upon the earth.

Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,

wherever it falls, there shall it lie.

4One who pays heed to the wind will never sow,

and one who watches the clouds will never reap.

5Just as you do not know how the life breath

enters the human frame in the mother’s womb,

So you do not know the work of God,

who is working in everything.a

6In the morning sow your seed,

and at evening do not let your hand be idle:

For you do not know which of the two will be successful,

or whether both alike will turn out well.

Poem on Youth and Old Age. 7* Light is sweet! and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. 8However many years mortals may live, let them, as they enjoy them all, remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that is to come is vanity.

9Rejoice, O youth, while you are young

and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth.

Follow the ways of your heart,

the vision of your eyes;

Yet understand regarding all this

that God will bring you to judgment.

10Banish misery from your heart

and remove pain from your body,

for youth and black hair are fleeting.*

Book Introduction


Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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