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CHAPTER 11 May 2 
The Preacher Observes Generosity and Diligence.
1Cast your bread on the waters; for you shall find it after many days. 2Give a portion to seven, yes, even to eight; for you don’t know what evil will be on the earth. 3If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth; and if a tree falls toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, there shall it be. 4He who observes the wind won’t sow; and he who regards the clouds won’t reap. 5As you don’t know what is the way of the wind, nor how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child; even so you don’t know the work of God who does all. 6In 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. 7Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to see the sun. 8Yes, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity.

The Preacher Appeals to Youth 
9Rejoice, young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things there is a God who will bring you into judgment for them. 10Therefore remove anger from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. 


11:9 For all these things there is a God who will bring you into judgment- Solomon knows judgment will come, at least for the young people, but he reasons as if it won’t- at least not for him. He knows, but he doesn’t know on the personal, experiential level. This is why there are apparently contradictory statements in Ecclesiastes. For example, the wise dies as the fool, with no more eternal remembrance than the fool (2:15,16). This, Solomon, says, is what he himself believes in his own heart. But in 7:12 he says that wisdom gives life to those who have it. But then again in 9:16-18 he observes that although wisdom can help, its benefits are easily undone, so easily as to make it useless. He knew and preached God’s Truth, but for him personally, it meant nothing at all. And therefore in practice he advocated the life of self-enjoyment, acting as if all the other truth of wisdom was not operative in practice. His final recommendation in chapter 12 is for young people to go the way of wisdom, as this is their duty. He had evidently minimized the coming of judgment, as his obsession with himself being the Messiah had lead him to minimize the reality of the coming of Christ. How deeply do we struggle with our own humanity, and deeply long for the second coming? Has our materialism made the Hope of the Kingdom mean practically nothing? Solomon's complaint at the pointlessness of wisdom in 2:15-20 is liberally sprinkled with personal pronouns; his self-centredness was part of his materialism and lack of faith in the Kingdom. And for us too, familiarity with the glorious principles of Divine Truth with which we have been entrusted can lead us to the blasphemy of saying, in effect, that those principles are unimportant; they come to mean little to us personally, and thereby we effectively deny their value and worth.
11:10 The tragic brevity of life means that youth is vanity; we should quit the time wasting follies of youth or overgrown childhood (and the modern world is full of these), and therefore we too should remove anger from our hearts. Ecclesiastes uses the mortality of man not only as an appeal to work for our creator and quit anger, but to simply have faith in His existence (as 2 Cor. 1:9).