Send your bread out on the surface of the water, and many days later you will find it again.* Share what you own with seven or eight people, for you never know what disaster could happen.
When the clouds are full they pour rain down upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the north or to the south, it stays where it fell. The farmer who pays attention to the direction of the wind knows when not to sow, and by watching the clouds knows when not to reap.
Just as you don't know how the breath of life comes to the child in its mother's womb, so you can't understand the work of God, the Creator of everything.
In the morning, sow your seed. In the evening, don't stop. For you have no way of knowing which crop will grow wellone may be profitable, or the otheror maybe both.
How sweet it is to live in the light, to see the sun rise on another day.§ May you live for many years, and may you enjoy them all. But remember there will many days of darkness,* and all that is to come is uncertain.
Young people, enjoy your youth! Be happy with what's good! While you're young, let your mind guide your life, and do as you think best. But remember that God will judge you for all your thoughts and actions. 10 So don't let your mind worry, and avoid things that hurt your body. Even so, despite youth and enthusiasm, life is still so hard to understand!
* 11:1 This proverbial statement is a call to generosity, with the implication that it will be rewarded. 11:2 This is also a proverb that encourages sharing. 11:4 These statements reflect the local weather. Farmers did not sow when east winds were blowing, since that was dry wind from the desert. West winds brought rain and were a good time to sow. The opposite was true for harvest—dry weather was called for, not clouds bringing rain. What is being encouraged here is the general theme of wisdom through observation. § 11:7 Literally, “Sweet is the light and pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.” However, what is clearly meant is appreciation for continued life. * 11:8 “Days of darkness” may refer to the time spent when people are dead.