Ecclesiastes 11:4
New International Version
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

New Living Translation
Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

English Standard Version
He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

Berean Study Bible
He who watches the wind will fail to sow, and he who observes the clouds will fail to reap.

New American Standard Bible
He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.

King James Bible
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

Christian Standard Bible
One who watches the wind will not sow, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap.

Contemporary English Version
If you worry about the weather and don't plant seeds, you won't harvest a crop.

Good News Translation
If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
One who watches the wind will not sow, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap.

International Standard Version
Whoever keeps staring at the wind won't sow; whoever daydreams won't reap.

NET Bible
He who watches the wind will not sow, and he who observes the clouds will not reap.

New Heart English Bible
He who observes the wind won't sow; and he who regards the clouds won't reap.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Whoever watches the wind will never plant. Whoever looks at the clouds will never harvest.

JPS Tanakh 1917
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; And he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

New American Standard 1977
He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He that observes the wind shall not sow, and he that regards the clouds shall not reap.

King James 2000 Bible
He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap.

American King James Version
He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap.

American Standard Version
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
He that observes the wind sows not; and he that looks at the clouds will not reap.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that observeth the wind, shall not sow: and he that considereth the clouds, shall never reap.

Darby Bible Translation
He that observeth the wind will not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds will not reap.

English Revised Version
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

World English Bible
He who observes the wind won't sow; and he who regards the clouds won't reap.

Young's Literal Translation
Whoso is observing the wind soweth not, And whoso is looking on the thick clouds reapeth not.
Study Bible
Cast Your Bread upon the Waters
3If the clouds are full, they will pour out rain upon the earth; whether a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie. 4He who watches the wind will fail to sow, and he who observes the clouds will fail to reap. 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.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 11:3
If the clouds are full, they will pour out rain upon the earth; whether a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie.

Ecclesiastes 11:5
As 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.

Treasury of Scripture

He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap.

Proverbs 3:27
Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

Proverbs 20:4
The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

Proverbs 22:13
The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.







Lexicon
He who watches
שֹׁמֵ֥ר (šō·mêr)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 8104: To hedge about, guard, to protect, attend to

the wind
ר֖וּחַ (rū·aḥ)
Noun - common singular
Strong's Hebrew 7307: Wind, breath, exhalation, life, anger, unsubstantiality, a region of the sky, spirit

will fail
לֹ֣א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

to sow,
יִזְרָ֑ע (yiz·rā‘)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2232: To sow, to disseminate, plant, fructify

and he who observes
וְרֹאֶ֥ה (wə·rō·’eh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7200: To see

the clouds
בֶעָבִ֖ים (ḇe·‘ā·ḇîm)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - common plural
Strong's Hebrew 5645: An envelope, darkness, a, cloud, a copse

will fail
לֹ֥א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

to reap.
יִקְצֽוֹר׃ (yiq·ṣō·wr)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7114: To dock off, curtail, to harvest
(4) But it is idle to try to guard against all possibilities of failure. To demand a certainty of success before acting would mean not to act at all.

Verse 4. - He that observeth the wind shall not sow. The fact of the uncertainty and immutability of the future ought not to make us supine or to crush out all diligence and activity. He who wants to anticipate results, to foresee and provide against all contingencies, to be his own providence, is like a farmer who is always looking to wind and weather, and misses the time for sowing in this needless caution. The quarter from which the wind blows regulates the downfall of rain (comp. Proverbs 25:23). In Palestine the west and north-west winds usually brought rain. He that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. For the purpose of softening the ground to receive the seed, rain was advantageous; but storms in harvest, of course, were pernicious (see 1 Samuel 12:17, etc.; Proverbs 26:1); and he who was anxiously fearing every indication of such weather, and altering his plans at every phase of the sky, might easily put off reaping his fields till either the crops were spoiled or the rainy season had set in. A familiar proverb says," A watched pot never boils." Some risks must always be run if we are to do our work in the world; we cannot make a certainty of anything; probability in the guide of life. We cannot secure ourselves from failure; we can but do our best, and uncertainty of result must not paralyze exertion. "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy" (Romans 9:16). St. Gregory deduces a lesson from this verse: "He calls the unclean spirit wind, but men who are subjected to him clouds; whom he impels backwards and forwards, hither and thither, as often as his temptations alternate in their hearts from the blasts of suggestions. He therefore who observes the wind does not sow, since he who dreads coming temptations does not direct his heart to doing good. And he who regards the clouds does not reap, since he who trembles from the dread of human fickleness deprives himself of the recompense of an eternal reward" ('Moral.,' 27:14). 11:1-6 Solomon presses the rich to do good to others. Give freely, though it may seem thrown away and lost. Give to many. Excuse not thyself with the good thou hast done, from the good thou hast further to do. It is not lost, but well laid out. We have reason to expect evil, for we are born to trouble; it is wisdom to do good in the day of prosperity. Riches cannot profit us, if we do not benefit others. Every man must labour to be a blessing to that place where the providence of God casts him. Wherever we are, we may find good work to do, if we have but hearts to do it. If we magnify every little difficulty, start objections, and fancy hardships, we shall never go on, much less go through with our work. Winds and clouds of tribulation are, in God's hands, designed to try us. God's work shall agree with his word, whether we see it or not. And we may well trust God to provide for us, without our anxious, disquieting cares. Be not weary in well-doing, for in due season, in God's time, you shall reap, Ga 6:9.
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