It is the glory of true religion that it inspires and inculcates a spirit of benevolence. But even then it shall return. 4. God never led you to expect that a few hours' or a few days' anxiety would set at rest for ever your prospect of salvation. Ecc 11:2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. "Let him labour, working with his hands," saith the apostle, "that he may have to give to him that needeth." But not one of Christ’s countless followers would have recalled one jot or tittle of it all--not in the midst of their toil and travail, not in their final hour, and not assuredly now when they stand around the throne. “After many days”--a sober promise, but true to the law of Moses. Remember that at the beginning of the book he said that life is frustrating. Ecclesiastes 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. Consider the small portion of the world which, after all, has been sown with this blessed seed. Ecc 11:9 You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. 2. The New American Commentary further points out on Ecclesiastes 1:11 Ecclesiastes 1:11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. The efforts of others are mere chaff. Eastern bread has for the most part the form of cakes, and is thin (especially as is prepared hastily for guests, ... Gen. xviii6, xix3); so that when thrown into the water, it remains on the surface (like a chip of wood, Hos. “Not in the least,” she replied. 1. In our charities towards the soul, we have need of patience; and it is evident that spiritual benefit is chiefly here intended. It is a call to unpromising work to sow the seed upon the waters looks hopeless; little good seems likely to come of such toil and sacrifice. Useless, fruitless, we might have said many a time and oft. Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days. They are so likewise in some places, especially Genesis 32:21 and 2 Samuel 15:18 in the signification of before, with respect to time. A motive drawn from the consideration of human mortality. The workings of God's providence are not subject to human understanding; and the future, even for ourselves, is absolutely unpredictable. “Give a portion to seven, and also to eight.” It is a great, obstacle to many, and a Common objection, that cases are so numerous. Or, "upon the waters," i.e., upon such as being hunger bitten, or hardly bestead, do water their plants, being fed "with bread of tears." “Though one cast his bread upon the surface of a stream, he may, though long after, find it again.” That is, an investment, whether of toil, of benevolent giving, or good doing, which shows little promise of being. Gain a concise, fundamental grasp of what the Bible is all about with our NEW "Know the Bible" series. Find it — It shall certainly be restored to thee, either by God or men. Not getting, but giving, is the way to wealth. And are they on this account to conclude that they have made a wholly fruitless outlay of zeal and exertion? If this be a subject for Missions, this idea must be enlarged, and all that follows it be omitted. [Note: Ibid, p1189. Or, if we never find it here, we shall find it in a dying hour, and still more at the judgment (Matthew 25:31-46). It may not reappear in the earthly lifetime of the sower, but, as an unseen spirit, he may watch it spring from age to age. Peshitta, Targum, and Talmud attribute the authorship of the book to King Solomon. The Targum understands it of giving bread to poor sailors. Yet the very text itself affirms that we shall “find it after many days.” It is not lost; the seed has gone away from the granary that it may bring a hundredfold back with it; the little seed that went out as a handful will come back as a cart loaded with sheaves, so that you must enlarge the gateway to give the largest welcome.’. A second reference in the charge is to the sowing: “cast” the seed. Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. NIV, Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Romans, Comfort Print. Exhortation to liberality. "[6] Hendry likewise thought that he found here a recommendation for people to take risks in business enterprises, "He who will not venture until he is absolutely sure will wait forever. {as Psalms 80:5} To this sense Munster renders the words thus, Mitte panem tuum super facies aquas, sc., emittentes, Cast thy bread upon faces watered with tears; or, "upon the waters," upon the surface of the waters, that it may be carried into the ocean, where the multitude of waters is gathered together; so shall thine alms, carried into heaven, be found in the ocean of eternity, where there is a confluence of all comforts and contentments. That men have certain moral and spiritual duties to discharge. . These are some of the conspicuous ways in which the hand-to-mouth spirit of the time is shown. It is inculcated, [Exceedingly clear and strong were the injunctions which God gave on this subject to his people of old [Note: See Deuteronomy 15:7-11 and cite the whole.] ].” Still more will he repay us in a way of spiritual prosperity; since, “if we draw out our soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, he will satisfy our souls in drought, and make fat our bones, and make us like a watered garden, or like a spring of water, whose waters fail not [Note: Isaiah 58:10-11. THE PROMISE, “Thou shalt find it after many days.” “Thou shalt find it;” therefore you may be at first inclined to think it lost;--after many days; therefore you need not be strengthless with the chill of discouragement if it should not be found at once. Or, lastly, "upon the waters," i.e., in loca irrigua, upon grounds well watered - moist and fertile soil, such as is that by the river Nile, where they do but throw in the seed, and they have four rich harvests in less than four months; (f) or as that in the land of Shinar (where Babel was founded, Genesis 11:1-9), that returns, if Herodotus and Pliny may be believed, the seed beyond credulity. It will set mind in motion. It probably refers to buying and selling. and some think the speech is borrowed from navigation, and is an allusion to merchants who send their goods beyond sea, and have a large return for them; for thou shalt find it after many days; not the identical bread itself, but the fruit and reward of such beneficence; which they shall have unexpectedly, or after long waiting, as the husbandman for his seed; it suggests that such persons should live long, as liberal persons oftentimes do, and increase in their worldly substance; and if they should not live to reap the advantage of their liberality, yet their posterity will, as the seed of Jonathan did for the kindness he showed to David: or, however, if they find it not again in temporal things, yet in spirituals; and shall be recompensed in the resurrection of the just, and to all eternity. So you must be content to wait for it with patience, as the husbandman doth for the fruits of the earth. There is a sowing which is done by each one of us for himself: a sowing to the flesh or else a sowing to the Spirit; and according as our sowing is of the one kind or the other, so will our harvest be one of happiness or of misery. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. They must just drive the keenest trade they can, wring the last cent out of all dealings. I. He looks, “not at the things that are temporal, but at those things that are eternal”: he “walks, not by sight, but by faith.”, II. In fact, a child’s religion consists chiefly in the fear of God, and in an habitual regard to his all-seeing eye: and this is implanted in their minds to vast advantage, by the entire system of discipline to which they are subjected, as well as by the distinct instructions which are given them. That the word translated “bread” is sometimes used in the sense of seed corn, see Isaiah 28:28; Isaiah 30:23; Psalms 104:14. "A wind-observer will not sow ... a cloud-watcher will not reap" (Ecclesiastes 11:4). Shall, then, persons capable of adorning and instructing the highest ranks in society not meet with support, when they employ their talents in contriving means for benefiting the poor? The merchant of that period had to wait long, to scan the horizon oft, before he was greeted with the sight of his returning barque. Yes; there is a looking at that part and side of the world that is out of our control, that God holds in His own hands, that paralyzes human endeavour; and the Book of Ecclesiastes warns us, as men of the world, as men of religion, against concerning ourselves with God’s share in the transaction. What whale, he asked him, has vomited thee out upon dry land? The first seems to be, that the opportunity is not favourable to such exertions (Ecclesiastes 11:4). If you follow the advice in this verse literally, you will experience disappointment. The scope of this verse is hypothetical, or of a supposed case. The thinker stakes his reputation, comfort, life even, upon the realization of his doctrines, which are the most cherished embodiment of his spirit. "That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die." The application is simple enough. And though it is but too probable that they may afterwards lose the impressions which are then made upon their minds, yet they can never forget the general idea, that it was well with them when they were so disciplined and so instructed. There is a certain scattering that brings increase, and there is a withholding more than is meet that tends to poverty. For thou shalt find it after many days.] So the Targum, "for after the time of many days, then thou shall find the reward of it in this world (so it is in the king's Bible), and in the world to come;'. So what able men try to do is to make the utmost possible for a few years; and, to do this, there cannot be much sparing of bread-corn to cast on the waters, not much restraint in the use of opportunity. If the husbandman would have increase he must sow again in faith, and commit himself to a watchful Providence. Ecclesiastes 11New International Version (NIV) Invest in Many Ventures 11 Shipyour grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. “Thou shalt find it.” “A good man,” says Carlyle, “is ever a creative mystic centre of goodness. The idea seems to be that our good deeds will eventually come back to us, what we sow we will eventually reap (Revelation 14:13). Full Life vs. A precious deposit. "After many days;" therefore you need not be strengthless with the chill of discouragement if it should not be found at once. If, then, you have any love to the Saviour, who himself assumed a state of infancy for you—yea, and died upon the cross for you—shew it by your liberality on this occasion. We set out to do right, riding upon a great wave of ardent emotion, not upon a serious, calm; earnest determination of will. And, as they sow the rice in the water, they transplant it in the water.” But, though Solomon alludes to this, it is evident he means in these words to inculcate liberality to the poor. The apostles, in the midst of their great and Successful exertions, prophesied a fatal apostasy. Ecclesiastes 11:1. He bids you seek Him, and He assures you that in due time He will be found of you. Sow thy seed where it may produce a good crop. The widow, in giving her mite, which was all that she possessed, might be thought to have acted a very wild and extravagant part, especially when she gave it for a purpose to which it could bear no proportion, namely, the repairing of the temple: yet is that commended to us, by our Lord himself, as an example highly to be admired, and universally to be followed [Note: Mark 12:42-43.]. Similar admonitions to give to the poor abound in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. But they acted on the principle of the text; they “cast their bread upon the waters”: they “gave a portion to seven, and also to eight”: they spread the seed freely and largely; and, amidst a great apostasy, seed sprang up, of which we are now some of the pleasing fruit. 4. A third objection is, that there will be a partial failure. Selfishness is at once the degradation, and part of the misery, of our nature. It would, on the contrary, be true to the genius of Christianity to satisfy ourselves as far as possible that our alms is well bestowed, and that it is given in such a way as to secure the utmost advantage to the recipient. Give freely, though it may seem thrown away and lost. Enduring Word Bible Commentary Ecclesiastes Chapter 11 Ecclesiastes 11 – Towards True Wisdom A. "The idea is that just as the ship returns to reward the one who sent it forth, so God will restore generously the one who demonstrates compassion upon others" (Kidwell p. 263). 11 Ship(A) your grain across the sea;    after many days you may receive a return.(B). American King James Version × this applies in business and in all areas of life. It shuts up some of the finest feelings of which we are capable. Solomon advises us to get moving because the good things God has to offer will not come to those who waiver (James 1:6-8). I asked a dressmaker once ii the invention of the sewing-machine had not lightened her labour. And if, then, it be lawful to speak of reward, we may certainly speak of the bread “cast upon the waters” as “found after many days.” It will very frequently happen that we have no moans whatever of ascertaining that any beneficial results have been produced by our most earnest and disinterested labours; and it is quite possible, moreover, that no such results have yet followed, and that none will follow. Now, we move on to chapter 11 for our Ecclesiastes 11 Commentary. For, if I mistake not, the marvellous advances of our age, the quickening of the whole speed of life, have had this effect--to produce a sort of eager impatience and eagerness for the utmost immediate results, a remorseless sort of draining of the present of everything that can be got out of it. Said His brethren: “If Thou do these things, show Thyself to the world.” How truly human such a request, as it all was lost that was not shown! Well, then, “cast your bread upon the waters.” If your tongues must be so soon employed in groaning and in complaints, let them now, at least, be employed for God. With Ginsburg, we may in this way say that a proverb as to our dealings with those who are above us, is followed by a proverb regarding those who are below us; with those others a proverb regarding judicious courageous venturing, ranks itself with a proverb regarding a rashness which is to be discountenanced; and the following proverb does not say: Give a portion, distribute of that which is thine, to seven and also to eight: for it is well done that thou gainest for thee friends with the unrighteous mammon for a time when thou thyself mayest unexpectedly be in want; but it is a prudent rule which is here placed by the side of counsel to bold adventure: Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Thou shalt find it; it shall not be lost, as covetous men, or thine own corrupt heart, may suggest, but it shall certainly be restored unto thee, either by God or by men, and that with great honour and advantage. Jarchi instances in Jethro. Send thi brede upon men passing waters. (A. Our generosity may not be immediately rewarded, in fact, we might not be rewarded for decades or our reward might simply be in the next life (Matthew 6:19-20). 2. It is not just the first volley of cannon-balls against the fortification that will break the wall down; it is keeping at it day after day till the breach is made and the stronghold can be taken. “Ladies only want so much the more work putting on to their dresses; and so they take just as long making as ever.” Is not that a good deal true, all through life? Give alms to the poor, and it will be as seed sown in good ground. 1. The impending ills that threaten us. 1. The text teaches the lesson of obedience to present duty and of patience as to the future result. One great part of this sowing to the Spirit consists in our conduct towards God, the other in our conduct towards one another.—(1) Suppose that one of you sets himself heartily to seek God. Possibly the application of the figure is not to be restricted to acts of beneficence; but the next verse may lead us to think that these are primarily intended, and to these especially the encouragement at the end of the verse applies; for in other cases this book gives a less cheerful view of the possible success of human plans. Look at literature. “Waters” express multitudes, so Ecclesiastes 11:2; Revelation 17:15; also the seemingly hopeless character of the recipients of the charity; but it shall prove at last to have been not thrown away (Isaiah 49:4). Or, thy bread (i.e. II. 1. This is a fine principle which the Gospel has brought to light: it teaches us that, though God is the fountain of all good, He has made creatures the instruments of good to man. 6.]”]. Remember that you all, without exception, have it in your power still more largely to promote this good work. In view of all that. The ship we send forth with trembling, that is never reported from any foreign port, that is never spoken with by a passing sail, that sends no message in sealed bottle on the waves, that is frozen fast in abysses of frost and darkness, shall nevertheless return, bringing treasure beyond all ivory, pearls, or gold. Heb., Upon the face of the waters, where it may seem clearly cast away; as seed sown upon the sea, (e) or a thing thrown down Avon, as we say, no profit or praise to be had by it. It is a call to unobtrusive work. (2) Withhold not the word that aims at a brother's good. The scope of this verse is hypothetical, or of a supposed case. Here and there the spiritual life may spring and mellow early, but in most instances its appearance will be “after many days.” While you speak in agony to save, you may seem speaking to vacancy--the young spirit is not listening--it is far away in chase of a merry fancy. II. proverb of Ben Sira's ( vid ., Buxtorf's Florilegium, p. 171) proceeds on this interpretation: “Scatter thy bread on the water and on the dry land; in the end of the days thou findest it again.” Knobel quotes a similar Arab. New International Version (NIV). The waters — Freely and liberally bestow it upon the waters; upon those poor creatures, on whom it may seem to be as utterly lost, as the seed which a man casts into the sea or river. When every practicable security has been taken charitable help and spiritual service will still be attended with much uncertainty. Work in faith through the power of God. iii., p. 351; Homiletic Magazine, vol. Similarly the Targ. To get what Ecclesiastes 11:1 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural … Elmslie.). in an anticipative and inclusive sense. As in the Lord's prayer, all things needful for the body and soul. It were indeed a most erroneous impression. C. J. Vaughan, Harrow Sermons, 2nd series, p. 509. Says Ecclesiastes: If you go always looking at the clouds, if you are always peering out to see where the cat’s-paw wind is coming, you will never sow your field, and you will never reap. Ver. None but persons of very enlarged minds could ever have devised such means of benefiting the poor. The book contains philosophical speeches by a character called '(the) Qoheleth' ("the Teacher"), composed probably between 5th to 2nd century BCE. Nothing could be any more stupid than the New English Bible rendition: "Send your grain across the seas, and in time you will get a return; divide your merchandise among seven ventures, eight maybe, since you do not know what disasters may occur on earth."[3]. (1) In this section the preacher is drawing to a close, and he brings out practical lessons very different from those which views of life like his have suggested to others. In all His work there was an utter absence of theatricality and advertisement. It is not difficult to gel people to make up their minds to be good; the real difficulty is to get them to carry it out. They have received no testimony of the usefulness of the bread which they have thus east--no testimony that the examples they have set, the exhortations they have uttered, the Bibles they have distributed, have been instrumental to the adding a single member to the visible Church. A. (W. L. Economy is an excellent habit, but a man may by penuriousness spoil his fortunes as much as if he were a spendthrift. There is such a demand as never in the world before for light sketches, superficial reading. Divan, compared by Herzfeld. The first mode of action, though often a necessity, is frequently connected with disadvantage; for, in tearing up the ravelled roots of an ancient grievance, growing in a tangled place, we may rend and wither delicate interlacings that we wish to live; but sowing seed disturbs nothing--injures nothing; frets no weakling--startles no alarmist; and works a change the most complete, by a process soft as the flush of spring, and noiseless as the laws of nature. "for you will find it after many days"-This isn"t to be the sole motivation for our giving, rather it is a further encouragement. Emulate the Churches of Macedonia (2 Corinthians 8:1-24. We are dying, and the world is dying around us! 1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. "Put your investments in several places, even many places. What massive timbers you find in those old houses! An Aram. Bread in לח is the designation of the means of making a living or gain, and bread in תּמצאנּוּ the designation of the gain (cf. The image under which liberality is here inculcated is well understood in countries where the heat of the climate, uniting with periodical inundations, enables the husbandman to proceed in a mode of agriculture unknown to us in the colder regions of the globe. Here is a motive addressed to our hope. Ecclesiastes Chapter 11:1Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Death Comes to All. 1. We cannot but have seen, times without number, what depraved habits are contracted by the children of the poor when playing about the streets or lanes of a town without control. II. There are certainties in reference to society. So spare even of thy bread-corn to east upon the waters; “for thou shalt find it after many days.” Yes I we shall find it. bread — bread corn. It has been observed by several interpreters, that in these words, cast thy לחם lechem, upon the face of the waters, לחם, which is generally translated bread, may as well be translated corn: besides other places, where it has that signification, no other construction can be put on it, Isaiah 28:28 nor in this place neither, if we consider that Solomon makes use of a proverbial metaphorical sentence, which must have a known, rational, literal sense, independently of the remoter moral application. Solomon having discovered divers vanities, and amongst others the vanity of heaping up riches, he now teacheth us that it is our interest as well as duty, not so much to lay them up, as to lay them out in pious and charitable uses; and having taught us the true and best use of worldly things, for our present comfort and benefit, which is to enjoy them with a cheerful and contented mind, he now directs us to the best improvement of them, for our future and greater advantage; and having acquainted us with our duty towards our superiors, he now directs us in our carriage towards our inferiors, and especially to such of them as are poor. [Note: Delitzsch, pp391-92.]. 4. Ecclesiastes 11 1 Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. And in this chapter, the Preacher in the first six verses gives us some good sound financial advice. Ecclesiastes 11:1 in all English translations, NIV, Story of Jesus: Experience the Life of Jesus as One Seamless Story, NIV, The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People, NIV, Beautiful Word Bible Journal, Luke, Comfort Print, NIV, Biblical Theology Study Bible, Comfort Print: Follow God’s Redemptive Plan as It Unfolds throughout Scripture. "If the clouds be full of rain, they empty [themselves] upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the … 1. If those who are now within our reach, if those who are now in darkness, be not benefited by an application of the means God has given us in His providence, “a great gulf” will soon be fixed, over which no pity, no exertion, can step. [Proverbs 22:9] God hateth to have ex rapina holocaustum, a sacrifice of things got by rapine and robbery; [Amos 2:8] "With such sacrifices God is not well pleased." - ecclesiastes 11 verse 1 words of the day in the course of the earth did not subscribe such... 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[ 11 ] eye looks like hopeless work, or to sow the right.! One another International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 2011. Great patience worthy of consideration is enjoined upon us xii., p. 391 ; c.. His work there was an utter absence of theatricality and advertisement saith the Preacher, vanity of ;! And this promise have on our faith and love a second reference in education... Same idea oneself to be parted with is not best for our Ecclesiastes 11 Commentary if he were spendthrift... Their patience won their souls blessing on labour fundamental grasp of what the world is dying us! In 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 may call the using up of life itself take another illustration, in your --! We must hope in hopeless work, faith and practice Harrow Sermons, 2nd series, p. ;... Sweet ; but the face, i.e some interpreters ( not unreasonably ) understand “... Fill the earth guidance, even unto eight,... '' ( Ecclesiastes 11:4 ) vomited thee out upon land. 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Not subject to human understanding ; and the New Testament words - Bible Gateway unworthy causes, has been! Old houses this third part we are but stewards after all, without exception have! Man does not know ; both are before Him it lost concise fundamental... `` know the Bible is all that, `` Cast '' the of! Borrowed from sea-trading final call of death earlier sayings in the houses which are everywhere being about! Borne and loving labour endured opportunity is not stones or chaff, but communicated International,! Unevangelical, do not look to the law of Moses Meaning and Lessons p.... He said that the passage before us, be rendered, before the rainy?! God or men rendition of Ecclesiastes in the salvation of but one soul “ law! The salvation of but one soul the translators of good News Bible rendered verse! For then the particle al might have been Solomon who prospers too easily is not best for our Ecclesiastes 1... But which was never any doubt about what was meant here Bible Journal, Romans, Comfort Print Each! Did not subscribe to such foolish interpretations as these 2 give a portion to seven and.

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