International Standard Version
1Spread your bread on the water— after a while you will find it. 2Apportion what you have into seven, or even eight parts, because you don't know what disaster might befall the land. 3If the clouds are full of rain, they will pour out on the earth; if a tree falls toward the south or the north, wherever it falls, there it will lay. 4Whoever keeps staring at the wind won't sow; whoever daydreams won't reap. 5Just 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.
6Sow your seed in the morning, and don't stop working until evening, since you don't know which of your endeavors will do well, whether this one or that, or even if both will do equally well.
7How sweet is the daylight, and how pleasant it is for someone's eyes to behold the sunshine! 8Even if a person lives many years, let him enjoy them all, recalling that there will be many days of darkness to come—all of which are pointless.
9So enjoy yourself in your youth, young man, and be encouraged during your younger days. Live as you like, consistent with your world view, but keep in mind that God will bring you to account for everything. 10Banish sorrow from your heart, and evil from your body, since both childhood and the prime of life are pointless.