Some see the in the word "cast" (send, side reference ASV, "send forth"), the image of a trading ship, i.e., a merchant sending forth his ships laden with trade goods ("Send your grain across the seas" NEB). In all His work there was an utter absence of theatricality and advertisement. Alms must not be given, said a martyr, (a) until it have sweat in a man’s hand. 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. There is a lesson here which is always needed, but which was never, perhaps, more needed than to-day. (7-10) Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 (Read Ecclesiastes 11:1-6) Solomon presses the rich to do good to others. [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 11:1. [Proverbs 19:17] Abigail, for a small present bestowed on David, became a queen, whereas churlish Nabal was sent to his place. Only the reference to self-sacrificing beneficence stands on a level with it as worthy of consideration. Let all endeavour to cultivate the ground. Solomon had a navy, and once in three years it returned, bringing gold and silver, apes and peacocks. And we call this the extreme supposition, because we believe that ordinarily where God has prompted to exertion and to sacrifice He crowns them with some measure of success, though He may not always allow that success to be known. What an amount of sacrifice made and suffering borne and loving labour endured! Even in this life, according to the Decalogue, the reward was at least to begin. is written in these verses, Solomon admonishes us to sow our seed, morning and evening; and this is not speaking of a farming venture, but, "It speaks of the acts of kindness and benevolence that we have opportunity to do. ), Some think that this image is borrowed from sea-trading. 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. NIV Reverse Interlinear Bible: English to Hebrew and English to Greek. 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." God will cause thee afterwards to receive it with abundant increase. It is often thus in families--the careless, undutiful children turning out the parents’ strength and joy. The main and master principle is love. the thinness, the weakness, and the poverty-stricken character of that goodness that comes in gushes, and then steps in fragments, in shreds and patches! Sow when the spring looks black; sow when the early summer seems to forecast a stormy autumn; sow year by year--that is the right thing to do. Ecclesiastes 11:2, which gives the real substance, the idea, contained in the figurative representation, shows that we must not limit our attention to the common kind of trade. ]: for “if he love not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen [Note: 1 John 4:20. Ecclesiastes 11:1-10.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. 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. It supplies moral bread for the world. The winds of circumstance may float and scatter the thistledown of sin; but the hand of intelligence and piety must sow the seed of truth. "That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die." (1-6) An admonition to prepare for death, and to young persons to be religious. This saying takes us to the banks of the Nile, where, every year, as the flood subsided, while the level lands were still all ooze and mud, the farmer went forth, and, without any ploughing, just cast the grain over the mud, and, simply trampling it in with his flocks of goats, knew that he should “find it after many days” in those fruitful harvests which made, Egypt the granary of the ancient world. For the advancement of men’s mental improvement—, To this the same image is applied by the prophet Isaiah; who gives us this additional information, that persons, previous to their casting of their seed upon the waters, send forth their oxen and their asses to tread the ground with their feet, in order the better to prepare the earth for its reception: “Blessed are ye who sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass [Note: Isaiah 32:20. Do not call it unevangelical, do not call it selfish. See Matthew 5:42,46; Luke 6:38; Proverbs 19:7; Psalms 112:5, etc. WHILST, in the purity of its precepts, the inspired volume exceeds all other books upon the face of the earth, it excels all other compositions in the variety and richness of the images under which it exhibits our duty and urges the performance of it. You see, it is a lesson not merely of sowing, but of self-denial and self-restraint in order to sow. Seed sown on the waters suggest silent forms of service. But is it nothing, to prevent the soil being overrun with briars and thorns, and to have it improved by the infusion of moral principles? Ne vous informez pas de leur reconnaissance -. 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). It might be supposed that this would have operated to check their exertions. 2. The text teaches the lesson of obedience to present duty and of patience as to the future result. : Extend to the poor the bread for thy support; they sail in ships over the water.). It shuts up some of the finest feelings of which we are capable. The charge is, “Cast thy bread upon the waters!”, 1. The reward which awaits you. The workings of God's providence are not subject to human understanding; and the future, even for ourselves, is absolutely unpredictable. The Jacobite songs still live because they breathe a fervour of loyalty and a strength of attachment which were vividly real in their day. NIV, Storyline Bible, Comfort Print: Each Story Plays a Part. (Worthington), "Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.". He finds him again actively engaged in Cappadocia. "Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days. Ecclesiastes 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. If they are successful their sons will hardly need any business! 1. But Christ declined the tempting publicity. the surface or top, of the waters, in which and such-like cases al constantly signifies upon. It may well be spoken humbly, cautiously, reluctantly, gently; if not, it will lose its influence, and will be wrong in you. Partic. ): therefore he sows the seed in expectation of a crop, which he is not to see immediately, but only after many days. Ecclesiastes 10 Ecclesiastes 11:1 Ecclesiastes 12 Return to the Main Player Favoriting is a great way to keep a list of sermons, programs, and ministry resources in your account. The capital the manufacturer sinks in plant, etc., has the same significance. But שׁלּח, with this reference of the proverb to beneficence, is strange; instead of it, the word השׁלך was rather to be expected; the lxx renders by ἀπόστειλον ; the Syr., shadar ; Jerome, mitte ; Venet. "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). His every effort is an embodiment of a living conviction. We are to sow our benefits broadcast, and be assured we shall have a harvest of reward. The thinker stakes his reputation, comfort, life even, upon the realization of his doctrines, which are the most cherished embodiment of his spirit. Much of the highest, painfulest service wrought for the good of men--work of brain and heart--is least appreciated. And it should lead us, in every case in which there seems to be no result from our labours, to examine whether we have faithfully complied with its precept; whether there have been diligence in casting the bread; and whether it has really been bread that we have east. He is not able to manufacture a single seed, nor to give it a particle of vitality, but only to sow it. New International Version (NIV). 11Â Ship(A) your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return.(B). 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.’. But, though slow, it will come. I asked a dressmaker once ii the invention of the sewing-machine had not lightened her labour. Work in faith through the power of God. Eminently beneficent. Barton wrote back in 1908, "That bread cannot possibly mean merchandise"; and we find a similar contradiction of this popular error in the very first word of Ecclesiastes 11:2 (See below). Ecclesiastes 11:1New King James Version (NKJV) The Value of Diligence 11 Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days. The text suggests to us also the blessing that may be hid in delay. But the cause is a lost one. 3. 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 one strikes the axe at the roots of evil; the other sows the seeds of good. It is not cast thy “seed” upon the waters. Waddey, a very dependable and discerning scholar stresses this.. 1 11:5 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts As you do not know the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb; 2 11:8 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a âvaporâ or âmere breathâ; also verse 10 (see note on 1:2) 3 11:10 Or evil No one can pretend to be an infallible reader of char-actor. "Put your investments in several places, even many places. Or, thy bread (i.e. EcclesiastesChapter 11. 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. If one casts one's bread oil the water in the usual external sense, it may very easily itself become water should the ship perish; it is in fact but a mere experiment: but when we cast our bread on the water in the spiritual sense, a return is certain; that which we have staked is sure to come back again, even though after a long season. An uncertain receptacle. You may believe to the very end that it was all in vain; and yet in the sight of a God who sees the heart that one word may have been the turning-point for an immortal soul between life and death. We wish you to regard the text as a promise--a promise which is admirably fitted to guard you against becoming “weary in well-doing.” When considered under this point of view, the words are of extraordinary value, for they just meet that feeling of despondency which those who labour for God are often tempted to entertain. regard this as an exhortation to charity, which although practised without expectation of reward, does not yet remain unrewarded at last. Let him that hath an ox, “send forth his ox;” and let him that hath an ass, “send forth his ass.” Let every one, according to his ability, contribute to help forward this good work, without intermission and without despondency. It is often the duty of the Christian to work and to give even when he cannot be certain as to results. 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