New English Translation
Ignorance of the Future Demands Diligence in the Present
1 Send your grain overseas, for after many days you will get a return.
2 Divide your merchandise among seven or even eight investments, for you do not know what calamity may happen on earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain, they will empty themselves on the earth, and whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, the tree will lie wherever it falls.
4 He who watches the wind will not sow, and he who observes the clouds will not reap.
5 Just as you do not know the path of the wind, or how the bones form in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
6 Sow your seed in the morning, and do not stop working until the evening; for you do not know which activity will succeed - whether this one or that one, or whether both will prosper equally.
Life Should Be Enjoyed Because Death is Inevitable
7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for a person to see the sun.
8 So, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all, but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many - all that is about to come is obscure.
Enjoy Life to the Fullest under the Fear of God
9 Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes, but know that God will judge your motives and actions.
10 Banish emotional stress from your mind. and put away pain from your body; for youth and the prime of life are fleeting.
King James Version
1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
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.
4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
7 ¶ Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:
8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh 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 thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.