Ecclesiastes 11:5
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.

English Standard Version
As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

Berean Study Bible
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.

New American Standard Bible
Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.

King James Bible
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

Christian Standard Bible
Just as you don't know the path of the wind, or how bones develop in the womb of a pregnant woman, so also you don't know the work of God who makes everything.

Contemporary English Version
No one can explain how a baby breathes before it is born. So how can anyone explain what God does? After all, God created everything.

Good News Translation
God made everything, and you can no more understand what he does than you understand how new life begins in the womb of a pregnant woman.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Just as you don't know the path of the wind, or how bones develop in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you don't know the work of God who makes everything.

International Standard Version
Just as you do not understand the way of the spirit in the womb of a pregnant mother, so also you do not know what God is doing in everything he makes.

NET Bible
Just as you do not know the path of the wind, or how the bones form in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

New Heart English Bible
As you do not 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 do not know the work of God who does all.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Just as you don't know how the breath of life enters the limbs of a child within its mother's womb, you also don't understand how God, who made everything, works.

JPS Tanakh 1917
As thou knowest not what is the way of the wind, Nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; Even so thou knowest not the work of God Who doeth all things.

New American Standard 1977
Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.

Jubilee Bible 2000
As thou dost not know what is the way of the spirit nor how the bones grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou dost not know the works of God who makes all.

King James 2000 Bible
As you know not what is the way of the wind, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so you know not the works of God who makes all.

American King James Version
As you know not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so you know not the works of God who makes all.

American Standard Version
As thou knowest not what is the way of the wind, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the work of God who doeth all.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Among whom none knows what is the way of the wind: as the bones are hid in the womb of a pregnant woman, so thou shalt not know the works of God, even all things whatsoever he shall do.

Douay-Rheims Bible
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones are joined together in the womb of her that is with child: so thou knowest not the works of God, who is the maker of all.

Darby Bible Translation
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, how the bones [grow] in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the work of God who maketh all.

English Revised Version
As thou knowest not what is the way of the wind, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the work of God who doeth all.

Webster's Bible Translation
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor the structure of the parts of conception in her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

World English Bible
As 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.

Young's Literal Translation
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, How -- bones in the womb of the full one, So thou knowest not the work of God who maketh the whole.
Study Bible
Cast Your Bread upon the Waters
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. 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
John 3:8
The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Psalm 139:13
For You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb.

Psalm 139:15
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Psalm 139:16
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be.

Ecclesiastes 1:6
Blowing southward, then turning northward, round and round the wind swirls, ever returning on its course.

Ecclesiastes 1:13
And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on the sons of men, to keep them occupied!

Ecclesiastes 3:10
I have seen the burden that God has laid on men to occupy them.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom the work God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 8:17
I saw every work of God, and that a man is unable to comprehend the work that is done under the sun. Despite his efforts to search it out, he cannot find its meaning; even if the wise man claims to know, he is unable to comprehend.

Ecclesiastes 11:4
He who watches the wind will fail to sow, and he who observes the clouds will fail to reap.

Treasury of Scripture

As you know not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so you know not the works of God who makes all.

thou knowest not what

John 3:8
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

nor

Psalm 139:14,15
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well…

even

Ecclesiastes 7:24
That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?

Ecclesiastes 8:17
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Job 5:9
Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number:







Lexicon
As
כַּאֲשֶׁ֨ר (ka·’ă·šer)
Preposition-k | Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

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

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

the path
דֶּ֣רֶךְ (de·reḵ)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

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

or how the bones [are formed]
כַּעֲצָמִ֖ים (ka·‘ă·ṣā·mîm)
Preposition-k | Noun - feminine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6106: A bone, the body, the substance, selfsame

in a mother’s
הַמְּלֵאָ֑ה (ham·mə·lê·’āh)
Article | Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4392: Full, filling, fulness, fully

womb,
בְּבֶ֣טֶן (bə·ḇe·ṭen)
Preposition-b | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 990: The belly, the womb, the bosom, body of anything

so
כָּ֗כָה (kā·ḵāh)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3602: Just so

you cannot
לֹ֤א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

understand
תֵדַע֙ (ṯê·ḏa‘)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3045: To know

the work
מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה (ma·‘ă·śêh)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4639: An action, a transaction, activity, a product, property

of God,
הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים (hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

the Maker
יַעֲשֶׂ֖ה (ya·‘ă·śeh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make

of all things.
הַכֹּֽל׃ (hak·kōl)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every
(5) The wording of this passage leaves it ambiguous whether we have here two illustrations of man's ignorance, or only one; whether we are to understand the verse as declaring that we know neither the way of the wind nor the growth of the embryo, or whether, retaining the translation "spirit," we take the whole verse as relating to the latter subject. (Comp. John 3:6.) The word for "her that is with child" occurs in that sense here only in the Old Testament, and in later Hebrew.

Verse 5. - As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit. In this verse are presented one or two examples of man's ignorance of natural facts and processes as analogous to the mysteries of God's moral government. The word translated "spirit" (ruach) may mean also "wind," and is so taken here by many commentators (see Ecclesiastes 1:6; Ecclesiastes 8:8; and comp. John 3:8). In this view there would be two instances given, viz. the wind and the embryo. Certainly, the mention of the wind seems to come naturally after what has preceded; and man's ignorance of its way, and powerlessness to control it, are emblematic of his attitude towards Divine providence. The versions, however, seem to support the rendering of the Authorized Version. Thus the Septuagint (which connects the clause with ver. 4), ἐν οῖς ("among whom," i.e. those who watch the weather), "There is none that knoweth what is the way of the spirit (τοῦ πνεύματος);" Vulgate. Quomodo ignoras quae sit via spiritus. If we take this view, we have only one idea in the verse, and that is the infusion of the breath of life in the embryo, and its growth in its mother's womb. Nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child. Our version, by its insertions, has made two facts out of the statement in the Hebrew, which is literally, holy the bones (are) in the womb of a pregnant woman. Septuagint, "As (ὡς) bones are in the womb," etc.; Vulgate, Et qua ratione compingantur ossa in ventre praegnantis, " And in what way the bones are framed in the womb of the pregnant." The formation and quickening of the foetus were always regarded as mysterious and inscrutable (comp. Job 10:8, 9; Psalm 139:15; Wisd. 7:1, etc.). Wright compares M. Aurelius, 10:26, "The first principles of life are extremely slender and mysterious; and yet nature works them up into a strange increase of bulk, diversity, and proportion." Controversies concerning the origin of the soul have been rife from early times, some holding what is called Traducianism, i.e. that soul and body are both derived by propagation from earthly parents; others supporting Creationism, i.e. that the soul, created specially by God, is infused into the child before birth. St. Augustine confesses ('Op. Imperf.,' 4:104) that he is unable to determine the truth of either opinion. And, indeed, this is one of those secret things which Holy Scripture has not decided for us, and about which no authoritative sentence has been given. The term "bones" is used for the whole conformation of the body (comp. Proverbs 15:30; Proverbs 16:24); meleah, "pregnant," means literally, "full," and is used like the Latin plena can here and nowhere else in the Old Testament, though common in later Hebrew. Thus Ovid, 'Metam.,' 10:469 -

"Plena patris thalamis excedit, et impia dire
Semina fert utero."
And 'Fast.,' 4:633 -

"Nunc gravidum pecus est; gravidae sunt semine terrae
Telluri plenae victima plena datur."
Even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. Equally mysterious in its general scope and in its details is the working of God's providence. And as everything lies in God's hands, it must needs be secret and beyond human ken. This is why to "the works of God" (Ecclesiastes 7:13) is added, "who maketh all." The God of nature is Lord of the future (comp. Amos 3:6; Ecclus. 18:6); man must not disquiet himself about this. 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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