Ecclesiastes 11:6

6 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.

Ecclesiastes 11:6 in Other Translations

KJV
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.
ESV
6 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.
NLT
6 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.
MSG
6 Go to work in the morning and stick to it until evening without watching the clock. You never know from moment to moment how your work will turn out in the end. Before the Years Take Their Toll
CSB
6 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.

Ecclesiastes 11:6 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 11:6

In the morning sow thy seed
Do all good works early and diligently, which is expressed by sowing in righteousness, ( Hosea 10:12 ) ; particularly alms deeds, often signified by sowing seed, ( Psalms 112:9 ) ( 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 ) ; this should be in the morning of youth, that persons may be inured to it betimes as Obadiah was; and in the morning of prosperity, as soon as ever Providence smiles on men, and puts it into the power of their hands, who should honour the Lord with the firstfruits of their increase; and in the evening withhold not thine hand;
from sowing seed, from doing good, particularly acts of charity, in the evening of old age, as Jarchi, like old Barzillai; an age in which men are apt to be more tenacious and covetous, and withhold more than is meet; yea, in the evening of adversity do not leave off doing good as much as can be; but do as the Macedonian churches, whose deep poverty abounded to the riches of their liberality in a great trial of affliction, ( 2 Corinthians 8:2 ) ; in short, good is to be done at all times, as opportunity offers, throughout the whole of life, and in all conditions and circumstances; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that;
the seed sown in the morning or in the evening, which good work shall best succeed; therefore do both, try all ways, make use of all opportunities; or whether they both [shall be] alike good;
acceptable to God, and useful to men; and if so, a man will have no occasion to repent of what he has done both in youth and old age.

Ecclesiastes 11:6 In-Context

4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
6 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.
7 Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
8 However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.

Cross References 1

  • 1. S Ecclesiastes 9:10