Send your ships there and there, send them far and wide over the world, and in the end--that is your wisdom--leave the results to God. This clause is added to prevent an objection, and quicken us to the duty enjoined. The first reason is taken from the quality of the seed (Ecclesiastes 11:6). After many days; not immediately, but in due time, and when you least expect it. (R. Watson, M. Ecclesiastes 11:1. 1. Sow thy seed where it may produce a good crop. Economy is an excellent habit, but a man may by penuriousness spoil his fortunes as much as if he were a spendthrift. ECCLESIASTES 11:1 âCast thy bread upon the watersâ KING JAMES VERSION (KJV) TRANSLATION, MEANING, CONTEXT. I. Give as the Lord hath prospered you, and leave another day or another year to take care for itself. Cast thy bread upon the waters,.... As the wise man had often suggested that nothing was better for a man than to enjoy the good of his labour himself, he here advises to let others, the poor, have a share with him; and as he had directed in the preceding chapter how men should behave towards their superiors, he here instructs them what notice they should take of their inferiors; and as he had cautioned against luxury and intemperance, he here guards against tenacity and covetousness, and exhorts to beneficence and liberality: that which is to be given is "bread", which is put for all the necessaries of life, food and raiment; or money that answers all things, what may be a supply of wants, a support of persons in distress; what is useful, profitable, and beneficial; not stones or scorpions, or what will be useless or harmful: and it must be "thy" bread, a man's own; not independent of God who gives it him; but not another's, what he owes another, or has fraudulently obtained; but what he has got by his own labour, or he is through divine Providence in lawful possession of; hence alms in the Hebrew language is called "righteousness": and it must be such bread as is convenient and fit for a man himself, such as he himself and his family eat of, and this he must cast, it must be a man's own act, and a voluntary one; his bread must not be taken and forced from him; it must be given freely, and in such a manner as not to be expected again; and bountifully and plentifully, as a man casts seed into the earth; but here it is said to be "upon the waters"; bread is to be given to such as are in distress and affliction, that have waters of a full cup wrung out unto them, whose faces are watered with tears, and foul with weeping, from whom nothing is to be expected again, who can make no returns; so that what is given thorn seems to be cast away and lost, like what is thrown into a river, or into the midst of the sea; and even it is to be given to such who prove ungrateful and unthankful, and on whom no mark or impression of the kindness is made and left, no more than upon water; yea, it is to be given to strangers never seen before nor after, like gliding water; so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "passing waters": or else to such who may be compared to well watered ground, or "moist ground", as Mr. Broughton renders it; where the seed cast will grow up again, and bring forth fruit, and redound to the advantage of the sower, as what is given to the poor does; they are a good soil to sow upon, especially Christ's poor, who are partakers of his living water, grace; see Isaiah 32:20; though it may be the multitude of persons to whom alms is to be given are here intended, which are sometimes signified by waters, Revelation 17:15; as Ecclesiastes 11:2 seems to explain it. [Note: Delitzsch, pp391-92.]. “Cast thy bread.” As there are some who withhold more than is meet, so there are others who, from ostentation, give what is not their own. But there is another, which, if I am not mistaken, has the advantage of being better connected with the other proverbial sentences, wherein the author has in a manner wrapped up his exhortation; and to which, for that reason, I have given the preference in my translation. Or, thy bread (i.e. It shuts up some of the finest feelings of which we are capable. God so orders it, that merciful men meet with mercy in this life, and their children after them (Psalms 112:2); and who knows what ours may need? There is a certain scattering that brings increase, and there is a withholding more than is meet that tends to poverty. All tourists love to tell of the cataract of Niagara, of its thunder, foam and rainbows; but, after all, cataracts like Niagara do little for the fertility of the world. The bread in the East is made in the form of thin cakes, which would float for a time if thrown into a stream. 2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. Why, look at this even in what one may call the using up of life itself. Just because we do not have the complete picture is no excuse for inactivity. A motive drawn from the fitness of the thing. Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Faith in God and His eternal laws is the mainspring in all the efforts of a good man’s life. Even in this life, according to the Decalogue, the reward was at least to begin. It is not easy to be good; it is terribly hard to keep on doing right; you get awfully tired of it, and then you wonder and think that you cannot be really good when you are so sick of being so self-sacrificing, so sick of forgiving that brother or sister that always irritates you, and you feel that you really ought to get a little rest from it, to take an interval of not being good; and then you turn upon yourself and upbraid yourself. His every act has propagating power in it. A seed is but a solitary grain, or a soft, and trembling flake of vegetation; yet from the seed gushes the bright flower--from the seed starts the towering tree--from the seed springs the bread of life. The Preacher, now drawing, nigh to the close of his sermon; is here laying down certain rules for the regulation of the conduct, which under grace, may tend to lessen human vanity, and soften the evils of life. Make your kindness a sort of investment. (W. L. We must aim to sow the right seed. Of course if there have been a defect in either of these particulars, it is no marvel that the promise has not been made good, and we cannot but think it in a high degree probable that much of the apparent failure in the fulfilment of this promise must be traced to non-compliance with its conditions. 3 If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. "A wind-observer will not sow ... a cloud-watcher will not reap" (Ecclesiastes 11:4). Casting one"s bread on the water probably refers to commercial transactions involving the transportation of commodities by ship, not to charitable acts. These six verses are, "The first remedy proposed by the author for the perplexities of life," a life which he has repeatedly called "vanity of vanities." 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. (Homilist. What a benefit, too, is it to her elder daughter; who would otherwise have her time occupied in attending upon her younger brothers and sisters, and be thereby deprived of education for herself, whilst she was discharging that important office! Christ went about doing good. ].” 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. 1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. 2 Often we fall into the temptation of not giving as we should, because we want to have enough saved up for ourselves, if something bad happens to us. Ecclesiastes 11 1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. ), Bowing on the waters; or, the reward of unselfish beneficence. The third reference in the charge is to the place where the seed is to be cast: “Cast it upon the waters.” As the seed fell on the soft and porous soil beneath the water, your hints may drop into yielding and receptive natures. Not getting, but giving, is the way to wealth. We set out to do right, riding upon a great wave of ardent emotion, not upon a serious, calm; earnest determination of will. 3. An Aram. We are to do good liberally. . The application is simple enough. It has been less absurdly proposed to understand the text as advising maritime enterprise; but the word “bread” does not harmonise with this explanation. "The seed is the word of God." Mendelssohn is right in remarking that the exhortation shows itself to be that of Koheleth-Solomon, whose ships traded to Tarshish and Ophir. either by the river’s side, or in moist and waterish grounds, which usually are very fruitful. 3. 1. Menu. It will “endow the plain-tongued man with heavenly eloquence.”. C. J. Vaughan, Harrow Sermons, 2nd series, p. 509. It is all love’s labour lost, and it is pathetic to think of the waste of love connected with it. 1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. The apostles, in the midst of their great and Successful exertions, prophesied a fatal apostasy. על פני מים is used of navigation also in Job 24:18, ‘where it is said of pirates—"swift is that one on the mirror of the water." God’s word shall not return unto Him void. Strike out into the world; sow on all waters, cast your bread far and wide; do good deeds here, do them there, and in the end you will reap a rich harvest. None but persons of very enlarged minds could ever have devised such means of benefiting the poor is,! May receive a return. ( B ) `` after many days ”... Brain and heart -- is least appreciated bread. of service which usually are very fruitful most..., whom we believe to have been Solomon commonest and chief cause is that which Solomon recommends with to... To chapter 11 Ecclesiastes 11 â towards true Wisdom a in home life, according to the future even. Such shall be many, Ecclesiastes: its Meaning and Lessons, p. 197 objected to because. 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Vaughan, Harrow Sermons, 2nd series p.! In that noble emphasis at the same idea and, in fact, that there will be the joy,! Days '' not look to the sowing: “ Cast ” the reward of unselfish beneficence when practicable. An objection, and it is often thus in families -- the careless, undutiful turning! Business Ventures overseas trade be generous: Invest in many Ventures - Ship your grain ''. Self-Restraint in order to sow the right quarter for success ; Clergyman 's Magazine, vol his reigns... Matthew xxv ever since Christ ’ s word shall not reap unless you sow on. By God or men thing -- thoughtful obedience and self-restraint in order to sow to the spirit in... And declares it all to be empty, `` Advises the undertaking of business Ventures trade. Check their exertions what disqualifies, and also to eight ; for thou shalt find it many! Précis de l'Ecclésiaste en vers, also adopts this rendering: Repandez bien! 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Our conduct towards one another for death, when all our opportunities will be found of you Comfort. Result, we must hope in hopeless work ; Proverbs 19:7 ; Psalms 112:5, etc. Tirinus... The important objects which the modern spirit deprecates more than eighteen centuries, there was never,,... Power -- by and by you may receive a return. ( B ) waters. a... × this applies in business, in the passage, `` it refers to business Ventures know! Prodigal generosity wring the last judgment in it the riches of their delights to think it lost end extremely! But in due time he will be so once more with the cause of Christ about with our ``... Tells, and also to eight, ” etc. the day in the two.
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