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The Value of Diligence

1Send out your bread upon the waters,

for after many days you will get it back.

2Divide your means seven ways, or even eight,

for you do not know what disaster may happen on earth.

3When clouds are full,

they empty rain on the earth;

whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,

in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.

4Whoever observes the wind will not sow;

and whoever regards the clouds will not reap.

5Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything.

6In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Youth and Old Age

7Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

8Even those who live many years should rejoice in them all; yet let them remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.

9Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

10Banish anxiety from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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