Chapter 11

1 Send forth thy bread upon the face of the water: for thou shalt find it after many days. 2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil there shall be upon the earth. 3 If the clouds be filled with rain, they pour it out upon the earth: and if a tree fall southward, or if it fall northward, in the place where the tree shall fall, there it shall be. 4 He that observes the wind sows not; and he that looks at the clouds will not reap. 5 Among whom none knows what is the way of the wind: as the bones are hid in the womb of a pregnant woman, so thou shalt not know the works of God, even all things whatsoever he shall do. 6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening let not thine hand be slack: for thou knowest not what sort shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether both shall be good alike.

7 Moreover the light is sweet, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun. 8 For even if a man should live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity.

9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart blameless, but not in the sight of thine eyes: yet know that for all these things God will bring thee into judgement. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for youth and folly are vanity.

Chapter 12

1 And remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the days of evil come, and the years overtake thee in which thou shalt


say, I have no pleasure in them. 2 While the sun and light are not darkened, nor the moon and the stars; nor the clouds return after the rain: 3 in the day wherein the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the mighty men shall become bent, and the grinding women cease because they have become few, and the women looking out at the windows be dark; 4 and they shall shut the doors in the market-place, because of the weakness of the voice of her that grinds at the mill; and he shall rise up at the voice of the sparrow, and all the daughters of song shall be brought low; 5 and they shall look up, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall blossom, and the locust shall increase, and the caper shall be scattered: because man has gone to his eternal home, and the mourners have gone about the market: 6 before the silver cord 1be let go, or the 2choice gold be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel run down to the cistern; 7 before the dust also return to the earth as it was, and the spirit return to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher; all is vanity. 9 And because the Preacher was wise above others, so it was that he taught man excellent knowledge, and the ear will trace out the parables. 10 The Preacher sought diligently to find out acceptable words, and a correct writing, even words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails firmly fastened, which have been given from one shepherd by agreement. 12 And moreover, my son, guard thyself by means of them: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

13 Hear the end of the matter, the sun: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole man. 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, with everything that has been overlooked, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.


1 Gr. be subverted.

2 Gr. flower of gold.


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