Ecclesiastes 11:6
New International Version
Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

New Living Translation
Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.

English Standard Version
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Berean Study Bible
Sow your seed in the morning, and do not rest your hands in the evening, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or if both will equally prosper.

King James Bible
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.

New King James Version
In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.

New American Standard Bible
Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether one or the other will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

NASB 1995
Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

NASB 1977
Sow your seed in the morning, and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

Amplified Bible
Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle with your hands in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening planting will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Christian Standard Bible
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don’t know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don't know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good.

American Standard Version
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Every dawn sow your seed, and at evening do not remove your hand, because you do not know what will prosper, whether this or that, or if both are good together

Brenton Septuagint Translation
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening let not thine hand be slack: for thou knowest not what sort shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether both shall be good alike.

Contemporary English Version
Plant your seeds early in the morning and keep working in the field until dark. Who knows? Your work might pay off, and your seeds might produce.

Douay-Rheims Bible
In the morning sow thy seed, and In the evening let not thy hand cease: for thou knowest not which may rather spring up, this or that: and if both together, it shall be the better.

English Revised Version
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Good News Translation
Do your planting in the morning and in the evening, too. You never know whether it will all grow well or whether one planting will do better than the other.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Plant your seed in the morning, and don't let your hands rest until evening. You don't know whether this field or that field will be profitable or whether both of them will [turn out] equally well.

International Standard Version
Sow your seed in the morning, and don't stop working until evening, since you don't know which of your endeavors will do well, whether this one or that, or even if both will do equally well.

JPS Tanakh 1917
In the morning sow thy seed, And in the evening withhold not thy hand; For thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, Or whether they both shall be alike good.

Literal Standard Version
In the morning sow your seed, "" And at evening do not withdraw your hand, "" For you do not know which is right, this or that, "" Or whether both of them alike [are] good.

NET Bible
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.

New Heart English Bible
In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, whether this or that, or whether they will both be equally good.

World English Bible
In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening don't withhold your hand; for you don't know which will prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both will be equally good.

Young's Literal Translation
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.

Additional Translations ...
Context
Cast Your Bread upon the Waters
5As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the bones are formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. 6Sow your seed in the morning, and do not rest your hands in the evening, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or if both will equally prosper.

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might, for in Sheol, where you are going, there is no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 11:7
Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.


Treasury of Scripture

In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hand: for you know not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

sow

Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Isaiah 55:10
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

Hosea 10:12
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

thou knowest

Ecclesiastes 9:1
For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.

Haggai 1:6-11
Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes…

Haggai 2:17-19
I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD…

prosper









(6) Prosper.--The word is used again in Ecclesiastes 10:10 and Esther 8:5, and belongs to modern Hebrew. (Comp. Galatians 6:7-8.)

Verse 6. - In the morning sow thy seed. Do not let your ignorance of the future and the inscrutability of God's dealings lead you to indolence and apathy; do your appointed work; be active and diligent in your calling. The labor of the farmer is taken as a type of business generally, and was especially appropriate to the class of persons whom Koheleth is instructing. The injunction occurs naturally after ver. 4. And in the evening withhold not thine hand. Labor on untiredly from morn till evening. It is not an advice to rest during midday, as that was too hot a time to work (Stuart), but a call to spend the entire day in active employment, the two extremities being mentioned in order to include the whole. Work undertaken in a right spirit is a blessing, not a curse, shuts out many temptations, encourages many virtues. Some see here a special reference to the maxim at the beginning of the chapter, as though the author meant, "Exercise thy charity at all times, early and late," the metaphor being similar 'to that in 2 Corinthians 9:6, "He which soweth sparingly," etc. Others find a figure of the ages of, man in the "morning and evening," thus, "From earliest youth practice piety and purity, and continue such conduct to its close." This leads naturally to the subject of the following section; but it may be doubted whether this thought was in the author's mind. It seems best to take the paragraph merely as commending activity, whether in business or in benevolence, without anxious regard to results which are in higher hands. "Withhold not thy hand," i.e. from sowing; Μὴ ἀφέτω ἡ χείρ σου (Septuagint). For thou knowest not whether shall prosper, which of the two sewings, either this or that, the morning or evening sowing. It is a chance, and a man must risk something; if one fails, the other may succeed. Or whether they both shall be alike good. The uncertainty rouses to exertion; labor may at any rate secure half the crop, or even give a double produce, if both sewings succeed. So in religion and morality, the good seed sown early and late may bear fruit early or late, or may have blessed results all along. The Vulgate is less correct, Et si utrumque simul, melius or, "And if both together, it will be better."

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Sow
זְרַ֣ע (zə·ra‘)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's 2232: To sow, to disseminate, plant, fructify

your seed
זַרְעֶ֔ךָ (zar·‘e·ḵā)
Noun - masculine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's 2233: Seed, fruit, plant, sowing-time, posterity

in the morning,
בַּבֹּ֙קֶר֙ (bab·bō·qer)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 1242: Dawn, morning

and do not
אַל־ (’al-)
Adverb
Strong's 408: Not

rest
תַּנַּ֣ח (tan·naḥ)
Verb - Hifil - Imperfect Jussive - second person masculine singular
Strong's 3240: Bestow, cast down, lay down, up, leave off, let alone remain, pacify, place,

your hands
יָדֶ֑ךָ (yā·ḏe·ḵā)
Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's 3027: A hand

in the evening,
וְלָעֶ֖רֶב (wə·lā·‘e·reḇ)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 6153: Evening

for
כִּי֩ (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

you do not
אֵֽינְךָ֨ (’ê·nə·ḵā)
Adverb | second person masculine singular
Strong's 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

know
יוֹדֵ֜ע‪‬ (yō·w·ḏê‘)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 3045: To know

which
אֵ֣י (’ê)
Interrogative
Strong's 335: Where?, how?

will succeed,
יִכְשָׁר֙ (yiḵ·šār)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 3787: To be advantageous, proper, or suitable, to succeed

whether this
הֲזֶ֣ה (hă·zeh)
Article | Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's 2088: This, that

or
אוֹ־ (’ōw-)
Conjunction
Strong's 176: Desire, if

that,
זֶ֔ה (zeh)
Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's 2088: This, that

or if
וְאִם־ (wə·’im-)
Conjunctive waw | Conjunction
Strong's 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

both
שְׁנֵיהֶ֥ם (šə·nê·hem)
Number - mdc | third person masculine plural
Strong's 8147: Two (a cardinal number)

will equally
כְּאֶחָ֖ד (kə·’e·ḥāḏ)
Preposition-k | Number - masculine singular
Strong's 259: United, one, first

prosper.
טוֹבִֽים׃ (ṭō·w·ḇîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good


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OT Poetry: Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning sow your seed (Ecclesiast. Ec Ecc Eccles.)
Ecclesiastes 11:5
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