Send forth thy bread on the face of the waters, For in the multitude of the days thou dost find it.
Give a portion to seven, and even to eight, For thou knowest not what evil is on the earth.
If the thick clouds are full of rain, On the earth they empty [themselves]; And if a tree doth fall in the south or to the north, The place where the tree falleth, there it is.
Whoso is observing the wind soweth not, And whoso is looking on the thick clouds reapeth not.
As thou knowest not what [is] the way of the spirit, How -- bones in the womb of the full one, So thou knowest not the work of God who maketh the whole.
In the morning sow thy seed, And at even withdraw not thy hand, For thou knowest not which is right, this or that, Or whether both of them alike [are] good.
Sweet also [is] the light, And good for the eyes to see the sun.
But, if man liveth many years, In all of them let him rejoice, And remember the days of darkness, For they are many! all that is coming [is] vanity.
Rejoice, O young man, in thy childhood, And let thy heart gladden thee in days of thy youth, And walk in the ways of thy heart, And in the sight of thine eyes, And know thou that for all these, Doth God bring thee into judgment.
And turn aside anger from thy heart, And cause evil to pass from thy flesh, For the childhood and the age [are] vanity!
Remember also thy Creators in days of thy youth, While that the evil days come not, Nor the years have arrived, that thou sayest, `I have no pleasure in them.'
While that the sun is not darkened, and the light, And the moon, and the stars, And the thick clouds returned after the rain.
In the day that keepers of the house tremble, And men of strength have bowed themselves, And grinders have ceased, because they have become few. And those looking out at the windows have become dim,
And doors have been shut in the street. When the noise of the grinding is low, And [one] riseth at the voice of the bird, And all daughters of song are bowed down.
Also of that which is high they are afraid, And of the low places in the way, And the almond-tree is despised, And the grasshopper is become a burden, And want is increased, For man is going unto his home age-during, And the mourners have gone round through the street.
While that the silver cord is not removed, And the golden bowl broken, And the pitcher broken by the fountain, And the wheel broken at the well.
And the dust returneth to the earth as it was, And the spirit returneth to God who gave it.
Vanity of vanities, said the preacher, the whole [is] vanity.
And further, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge, and gave ear, and sought out -- he made right many similes.
The preacher sought to find out pleasing words, and, written [by] the upright, words of truth.
Words of the wise [are] as goads, and as fences planted [by] the masters of collections, they have been given by one shepherd.
And further, from these, my son, be warned; the making of many books hath no end, and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh.
The end of the whole matter let us hear: -- `Fear God, and keep His commands, for this [is] the whole of man.
For every work doth God bring into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether good or bad.'