Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ecclesiastes 11:6

Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Agriculture;   Economics;   Industry;   Seed;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Agriculture or Husbandry;   Morning;   Seed;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Work;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ecclesiastes, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ecclesiastes, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ecclesiastes;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Evening;   Morsel - moth;   Sow (verb);  
Encyclopedias:
The Jewish Encyclopedia - Dosetai;   Eliezer B. Jose Ha-Gelili;   Kasher;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for August 14;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

In the morning sow thy seed - Be ready at all times to show mercy; begin in the morning, continue till the evening. Thou knowest not the most worthy object; it is enough that God knoweth; and if thy motive be good, he will applaud and reward thee; not according to the worthiness or unworthiness of the object of thy charity, but according to the motive which induced thee to relieve him.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Ecclesiastes 11:6

In the morning sow thy seed.

The seed-time of life

The morning, as we apply it to Christian youth, stands for brightness, freshness, promise, for “regenerate hope, the salt of life,” for opportunity, activity, and corresponding responsibility. The morning is pre-eminently the sowing time. Noon and eventide will take their complexion from the morning, and morning, whether we improve or waste it, never returns. How important, then, that we should sow well, that our aims should be right, that we should lay up the opportunity and live crowded hours. First, as a matter of fact, we are all sowing. God has so constituted our nature that we must sow. Every thought, emotion, motive, is a seed; all our words and deeds are seeds which must generate, spring up, and bear fruit in our hearts and lives, in the hearts and lives of others, in time and in eternity. Our present characters are the harvests of seeds sown in the past of our lives. The seed we are sowing is imperishable. Be the winds ever so high, be the frosts ever so severe, germinate and spring up the seed must. Outward circumstances may hasten or check the growth, but cannot kill the seed. Like the man who scatters it, it is immortal.

I. Sow in the morning for your intellectual advantage. “My mind to me a kingdom is,” sang Edward Dyer, the friend of Sir Philip Sidney. But what if that kingdom is enveloped in darkness, or peopled with undisciplined, not to speak of evil, thoughts, the home of the crude, the distorted, the perverted and perverting in knowledge? The kingdom of the mind, to bring joy to its king, need be luminous with knowledge, peopled with wise and pure thoughts, the home of virtue, beauty, and order--a kingdom in which are reaped and sown harvest after harvest of sound attainment and discreet dissemination as life advances. I need hardly say that one of the best instruments of manly culture is reading. Young people should make companions of wise and good books. Read books that have in them, if I may so speak, mountains of strength, and gardens of beauty, and wide cornfields of knowledge, and fruits of ripe wisdom; books through which blow winds of purity, and whose pages are bright with sunshine of unstained joys. Thus will you be sowing in the morning the seed of a harvest of true satisfaction. Some young people begrudge the time and pains which the pursuit of knowledge demands.

II. Sow in the morning the seed of noble manhood and womanhood. It has been asserted that “the cardinal elements of national greatness are robust character, independent personality, and sincere religiousness.” May not the same be said of individuals? Noble character is the supreme good. Without character even earthly knowledge is a vain possession in view of the highest ends of life, is only a phantasm of the brain, a fugitive mirage, whose illusive tropical gardens turn to dry sand. Without it, material prosperity is the soul’s deadly snare. Let me say, in what may seem a commonplace remark, that you must begin to sow it in repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, which are the seeds of the new life in the soul. Prayer, humility, courage, self-control, and kindness are precious seeds. Scatter them with no miserly hand. Oh, sow for character. It is of all precious things the most precious--the diamond among jewels, the rose among flowers, the throne in the kingdom of man’s possessions. For value, for beauty, for service, for command, it is the one thing needful. Keep the Lord Jesus Christ before you. He is your ideal as well as your Saviour. Self-surrender, faith, love, righteous living and good companionship will lead on to likeness to Him.

III. Sow in the morning the seed of usefulness. The morning is your opportunity, a magnificent opportunity, while it lasts. Soon manhood and womanhood, with the cares of life, and the claims of lawful duties, will overtake you. Then there will be little time to give to the specific task of scattering the seed of saving truth. Fill the morning hours with labour. Let pleasure wait, or be you content with such joys as God gives the husbandman; not the artificial joys of the crowded resorts of the world’s pleasures, but natural joys that are well symbolized by the babble of the brook and the skylark’s song. You cannot fling abroad a handful of seed, you cannot speak a loving word for your Master, or do a serviceable deed without unsealing in your own heart a fountain of gladness. Oh, the world needs you. Give yourselves to it. Bestow on it your hopefulness and brightness, your purity and tenderness, your best thought and effort. II any here are using the morning to sow evil seed, pause. Remember, if you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind. (R. C. Cowell)

Thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that.--

Magnificent failures

Every one must have been impressed with the curious fact that Columbus failed in most of the things that he tried for. He made a bad mistake at first in his reckonings. He never knew that he had not reached Asia. He looked for gold and wealth, but he died in poverty. Except that he proved that the earth was round, which had already been satisfactorily proved, everything turned out differently from what he thought. And yet we celebrate him as though he had completely succeeded. There is a certain kind of magnificent failure that takes hold of our imagination and sympathy even more effectively than unqualified success. The most thrilling episodes in history are stories like that of Columbus--of men who essayed vast endeavours, and, after all, proved to have done something vastly more important and other than they expected. The Protestant Reformation is such a story of magnificent failure. Nothing is more pathetic than the last weary year of Luther’s life, Or the brave Zwingli dying in battle. The reformers had set out only to go a little way, to reform certain abuses and to correct a few errors. But they stirred up faction and war, they divided Germany, they let loose all manner of free thought. A hundred years after Luther the Reformation in Germany still looked like a failure. Now at last we enjoy what they only began to set in movement. The incoming religion is nobler, sunnier, more philosophical, more comprehensive than the reformers would have dared to accept. The story of the famous Savonarola is equally instructive. He did not save Florence. He could not work miracles, His visions did not come true. They put him to death like his Master. But the great world took up the holy impulse of his life; and his name, his passion for justice, his instinct for purity, passed over out of flames--a vitalizing spirit--into the infinite stream of our human destiny. One leaps at once, without citing other examples, to the great primitive Christ story. The story of Jesus is that of the most magnificent failure. As far as the records go, it seems clear that Jesus and His followers alike looked for what did not come. The glorious new kingdom of the sons of God was not ushered in before that generation passed away. The Son of Man did not appear in the skies. The good still suffered, the wicked and oppressors were not cast out. Nevertheless, we see that no one in Jesus’ place could have done more. No one ever had such magnificent success. We see the brotherly spirit which possessed Jesus going into all the world, even beyond where His name goes, slowly but surely banishing the ancient hate, banding men together, turning the evil into good. We believe that, if Jesus could see the travail of His soul, he would be satisfied. In the story of Columbus we distinguish two elements working out the evens of his life. He was right, on the whole, in the great main issue; namely, that, the earth being round, one voyaging west would find land, and, going far enough, the continent of Asia. All his greatness and success came of his following a great truth. But Columbus was mistaken by thousands of miles in all the details of his geography. His maps were drawn by guess-work, not from facts. This is typical of what has happened in all the pathetic tragedies. Thus Luther, brave as he was, only partly succeeded. His maps and charts, like Columbus, were not correct. The facts about this world by which to draw the maps in religion were not yet in. And the early Church, too, was right in its main direction. It started out toward the goal of a world religion. It was right to proclaim a good God and a righteous world, a gospel of faith and hope. But the noblest soul that ever sailed the sea of life had to work from the old charts. The unknown spaces of this world were a chaos of strange demonology. This had not yet been discovered to be a universe. Hence disasters and shipwrecks even to those who rightly sailed west. Here we stand to-day Confronting pressing questions of social and political administration. How can we most fairly organize society and humanize the relations of employers and the employed? Or take the gigantic question of the control of the drink traffic and the care of the intemperate. Good and earnest men are conscientiously divided over these questions. It is possible to-day that men are setting out from their Palos, and sailing west to find the distant lands of light. But others are also sailing, like Vasco da Gama, another and seemingly opposite course. It is possible that the men of neither expedition will find exactly what they look for. It is possible to-day that the bravest and noblest may be mistaken in their estimates of the contents of the seas into which humanity sails. Ah, we should be glad to know that the course was so short and the route so simple and straight as some of our friends believe! It may prove again that the world is larger and more capes must be rounded than are down on the present maps. I find everywhere that progress is a resultant of many forces and the impulse of many men. I find that all misunderstanding, narrowness, prejudice, and bitterness, lack of faith in God or man, on the part of any of us, is always so far a waste. But I find more notably yet that, though particular methods fail, no earnest work goes quite to waste, that all is taken up in the final readjustment. Every movement that has the true sailing direction--nay, even the mishaps and wrecks, so be they lie toward the land whither we sail--at last serve the world’s fleet of discovery. Vasco da Gama and Columbus each proved to help, and moved at last toward each other. It does not trouble me, therefore, that the good and wise differ, while yet we are only making maps. For this is to live in a world that moves and grows. It is to be learners and seekers of truth. It is to be children here that we may be sons of God by and by. (C. F. Dole.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Ecclesiastes 11:6". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In the morning sow thy seed,.... Do all good works early and diligently, which is expressed by sowing in righteousness, Hosea 10:12; particularly alms deeds, often signified by sowing seed, Psalm 112:9, 2 Corinthians 9:6; this should be in the morning of youth, that persons may be inured to it betimes as Obadiah was; and in the morning of prosperity, as soon as ever Providence smiles on men, and puts it into the power of their hands, who should honour the Lord with the firstfruits of their increase;

and in the evening withhold not thine hand; from sowing seed, from doing good, particularly acts of charity, in the evening of old age, as Jarchi, like old Barzillai; an age in which men are apt to be more tenacious and covetous, and withhold more than is meet; yea, in the evening of adversity do not leave off doing good as much as can be; but do as the Macedonian churches, whose deep poverty abounded to the riches of their liberality in a great trial of affliction, 2 Corinthians 8:2; in short, good is to be done at all times, as opportunity offers, throughout the whole of life, and in all conditions and circumstances;

for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that; the seed sown in the morning or in the evening, which good work shall best succeed; therefore do both, try all ways, make use of all opportunities;

or whether they both shall be alike good; acceptable to God, and useful to men; and if so, a man will have no occasion to repent of what he has done both in youth and old age.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening e withhold not thy hand: for thou knowest not which shall prosper, either this or f that, or whether they both [shall be] alike good.

(e) Be not weary of well doing.

(f) That is, which of your works are most agreeable to God.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

evening — early and late; when young and when old; in sunshine and under clouds.

seed — of godly works (Hosea 10:12; 2 Corinthians 9:10; Galatians 6:7).

prosper — (Isaiah 55:10, Isaiah 55:11).

both  …  alike — Both the unpromising and the promising sowing may bear good fruit in others; certainly they shall to the faithful sower.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

“In the morning sow thy seed, and towards evening withdraw not thine hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether both together shall well succeed.” The cultivation of the land is the prototype of all labour (Genesis 2:15), and sowing is therefore an emblem of all activity in one's pursuit; this general meaning for ידך ... אל־ (like Ecclesiastes 7:18; synon. with ידך ... אל־, Joshua 10:6, of the older language) is to be accepted. The parallel word to babokěr is not ba'ěTrěv ; for the cessation from work (Judges 19:16; Psalms 104:23) must not be excluded, but incessant labour (cf. Luke 9:62) must be continued until the evening. And as Ecclesiastes 11:2 counsels that one should not make his success depend exclusively on one enterprise, but should divide that which he has to dispose of, and at the same time make manifold trials; so here also we have the reason for restless activity of manifold labour from morning till evening: success or failure (Ecclesiastes 5:5) is in the hand of God, - man knows not which ( quid , here, according to the sense, utrum ) will prosper, whether ( ה ) this or ( או ) that, and whether ( אמו ), etc.; vid ., regarding the three-membered disjunctive question, Ewald, §361; and regarding keěhhad, it is in common use in the more modern language, as e.g., also in the last benediction of the Shemone-Esra : כאחד ... ברכנו, “bless us, our Father, us all together.” שׁניהם goes back to the two זה, understood neut. (as at Ecclesiastes 7:18; cf. on the contrary, Ecclesiastes 6:5). The lxx rightly: καὶ ἐὰν (better: εἴτε ) τὰ δύο επὶτὸ αυτὸ ἀγατηά . Luther, who translates: “and if both together it shall be better,” has been misled by Jerome.

The proverb now following shows its connection with the preceding by the copula vav . “The tendency of the advice in Ecclesiastes 11:1, Ecclesiastes 11:2, Ecclesiastes 11:6, to secure guarantees for life, is justified in Ecclesiastes 11:7 : life is beautiful, and worthy of being cared for.” Thus Hitzig; but the connection is simpler. It is in the spirit of the whole book that, along with the call to earnest activity, there should be the call to the pleasant enjoyment of life: he who faithfully labours has a right to enjoy his life; and this joy of life, based on fidelity to one's calling, and consecrated by the fear of God, is the most real and the highest enjoyment here below. In this sense the fruere vita here connects itself with the labora:

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

In the morning — Early and late, in all seasons and occasions; do it speedily and continually, be not weary of it.

Sow — Do all good works.

With-hold not — From working or giving.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both [shall be] alike good.

Ver. 6. In the morning sow thy seed, &c.] At all times be ready to every good work, [Titus 3:1] as the bee is abroad as soon as ever the sun breaks forth. Sow mercy in the morning, sow it likewise in the evening, as those bountiful Macedonians did, to the shame of those richer but harder Corinthians, sending once and again to Paul’s necessities. [2 Corinthians 8:3 Philippians 4:16] Oh, sow much and oft of this unfailable seed into God’s blessed bosom, the fruit whereof you are sure to reap at your greatest need. Men may be thankful, or they may not, Perraro grati reperiuntur, saith Cicero: it is ten to one if any cured leper turn again to give thanks. But "God is not unrighteous to forget your labour of love in ministering to his saints." [Hebrews 6:10] Haply you may not sow and reap the same day, as the widow of Sarepta did: haply the seed may lie underground some while, and not be quickened except it die; but have patience, nothing so sure as a crop of comfort to those that are duly merciful. Up therefore and be doing, lose no time, slip no season; it is but a morning and an evening, one short day of life wherein we have to work, and to advance your blessedness. Sow therefore continually: blessed is he that "soweth beside all waters." Blessed Bradford held that hour lost wherein he had not done some good with his hand, tongue, or pen. (a) Titus remembering one day that he had done no good to any one, cried out, Amici, diem perdidi. Friends, I have wasted a day. And again, Hodie non regnavimus. Today we were not the master. We have lost a day, &c. This was that Titus that never sent any suitor away with a sad heart, and was therefore counted and called Humani generis deliciae, the darling of mankind, the people’s sweetheart. The senate loaded him with more praises when he was dead than ever they did living and present.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Ecclesiastes 11:6

This text lays a general command upon us all that each in his vocation and calling should, as part of the work of every day, watch for and make use of every possible opportunity of helping those around him in the way to godliness, and, like St. Andrew in the early times of the Gospel, of bringing his brother to Jesus.

I. There are no such things as trifles in the life of a Christian. What we call trivial occasions are the very occasions which the precepts and examples of Scripture would have us turn to account. We must carry our religion about with us, so that its light shall be always shining before men, in such sort as that they shall see it sanctifying our business, and hallowing our pleasures, and pervading our whole character. God's law is not to be "hidden," not to be "far off;" but it is to be kept very nigh, "in thy mouth and in thy heart." So ran the command; and the reason of the injunction was added: "in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it."

II. Jesus Christ never missed an opportunity. He came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost. Men might hear Him gladly, or they might walk no more with Him; they might hear, or they might forbear: but He was so on the watch to draw them to Him that no chance was lost. The more we shrink from trying to lead others to good, the less we are like Christ.

F. E. Paget, Helps and Hindrances to the Christian Life, vol. ii., p. 85.


References: Ecclesiastes 11:6.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. i., p. 276; Parker, City Temple, vol. i., p. 10; Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 266.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/ecclesiastes-11.html.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In the morning, and in the evening; early and late, in all seasons and occasions; do it speedily and continually, be not weary of it. Sow thy seed; do all good works, and especially that of almsgiving, as sowing is understood, 2 Corinthians 9:6 Galatians 6:7.

Withhold not thine hand from working or giving.

Whether shall prosper; which shall prosper most, as the next clause explains it; the positive degree being put for the comparative, or the superlative, which is not unusual in the Hebrew text. Which shall best answer thine end, or do most good to others, or which shall tend most to the comfort of thy great and last account; for thy morning alms may possibly be given to an unworthy person, or to one who did not need it, and will abuse it, and thy evening alms may fall upon a person of eminent worth, yea, upon an angel in human shape, which is remembered as a motive to hospitality, Hebrews 13:2, or upon one in extreme necessity, who might possibly have perished both in soul and body, if thou hadst not comforted and relieved him: or one time thou mayst give with more sincere intention, and with more tender compassion, than another time, and so one will be more right and more acceptable to God than the other.

Alike good; equally successful to the receiver, or to the giver.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6.Sow thy seed — This precept is an inference. Diligence in labours calculated for good, will be sure of some return, perhaps of very copious returns. This beautiful verse, with its lively rhetorical figure, is often and aptly applied to the labours of the Christian ministry, and fits well to all deeds and efforts of benevolence. The next verse gives one sure return.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Since the future is in God"s hands, the wise person proceeds with his work diligently, hoping his efforts will yield fruit, as they usually do.

"Put in a nutshell the theme of the passage is this: we should use wisdom boldly and carefully, cannily yet humbly, taking joy from life while remembering that our days of joy are limited by the certainty of death." [Note: Hubbard, p225.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/ecclesiastes-11.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Ecclesiastes 11:6. In the morning — Early and late, in all seasons, and on all occasions; do it speedily and continually: be not weary of it. Sow thy seed — Do all good works, especially that of alms-giving, as sowing means, 2 Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 6:7. In the evening withhold not thy hand — From working, or giving. For thou knowest not whether shall prosper — Which shall prosper most; which shall best answer thine end, or do most good to others; or which shall tend most to the comfort of thy great and final account. For thy morning alms may possibly be given to an unworthy person, or to one who did not need them, and will abuse them; and thy evening alms may fall upon a person of eminent worth, or upon one in extreme necessity, who might possibly have perished, both in soul and body, if thou hadst not relieved and comforted him. Besides, at one time thou mayest give with a more pure intention, and a more single eye to the glory of God, and with more tender compassion to thy distressed fellow-creature, than at another time, and so the one will be more right and acceptable to God than the other. Or whether they shall be both alike good — Equally successful to the receiver or to the giver.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Better. Be kind to all during life, Galatians vi. 10. (Calmet) --- Do good, both in youth and in old age, (Worthington) lest, if thou shouldst grow remiss, all would be lost. (St. Jerome)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Sow your seed in the morning, and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good."

"do not be idle in the evening"-"Let evening find thee still at work" (Knox). "The Hebrew says, "Be busy early in the morning, and unto the evening let your hand keep at this task"" (Leupold p. 265).

"for you do not know"-here is the reason for such unremitting activity. Once again, man"s inability to predict the future, even if it is only months in the future is demonstrated. The proper response to uncertainty isn"t apathy, inaction or fear, but rather, trust in God and the redoubling of our efforts (Ephesians ; 2 Timothy 4:2).

"both of them alike will be good"-i.e. both might be successful.

Points To Note:

2 "It is a stimulating call, with no thought of faltering, yet not trace of bravado or irresponsibility. The very smallness of our knowledge (), and control (11:3), and the very likelihood of hard times (11L2) so frequently impressed on us throughout the book, become the reasons to bestir ourselves and show some spirit" (Kidner p. 98). 2. Note that God never says, "Sit back and just put everything into My hands." The response to the truth that God rules the world, is not sitting back, but rather, redoubling our efforts!

Youth, Old Age, And Death

"Appropriately, the last major discourse of Ecclesiastes concerns the grim reality of aging and death and the need to enjoy the life one has under the sun. Nevertheless, this is not a hedonist"s creed, for the demand that all be done in the fear of God stands behind and above the whole" (Garrett pp. 339-340).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

prosper. Hebrew. kasher: supposed to be a later Hebrew word, but a kindred form seems to be found in Psalms 68:6, where "with chains" should be rendered "into prosperity". See App-75.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Morning ... evening - early and late; when young and when old; in sun shine and under clouds.

Sow thy seed - of godly works (Hosea 10:12).

Prosper - (Isaiah 55:10-11.)

Both ... alike - both the unpromising and the promising sowing may bear good fruit in others: certainly they shall to Both ... alike - both the unpromising and the promising sowing may bear good fruit in others: certainly they shall to the faithful sower.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) Prosper.—The word is used again in Ecclesiastes 10:10 and Esther 8:5, and belongs to modern Hebrew. (Comp. Galatians 6:7-8.)

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ecclesiastes-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
sow
9:10; Isaiah 55:10; Hosea 10:12; Mark 4:26-29; John 4:36-38; 2 Corinthians 9:6; 2 Timothy 4:2
thou knowest
9:1; Haggai 1:6-11; 2:17-19; Zechariah 8:11,12; Acts 11:20,21; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; 2 Corinthians 9:10,11
prosper
Heb. be right.
Reciprocal: Genesis 26:12 - an hundredfold;  Genesis 47:23 - here is seed;  Psalm 112:9 - dispersed;  Proverbs 3:28 - GeneralProverbs 11:24 - that scattereth;  Ecclesiastes 7:18 - good;  Ecclesiastes 11:1 - for;  Matthew 5:42 - GeneralMark 4:3 - there;  Luke 5:6 - they enclosed;  Romans 12:8 - giveth;  Galatians 6:8 - soweth to the;  1 Timothy 6:18 - ready

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ecclesiastes-11.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ecclesiastes 11:6. Be incessantly active! Precisely in troublous and wretched times should we be most restlessly active, for then many things that we do may fail of success. The more doubtful the results of our undertakings, the less should we be disposed to lay our hands in our bosom.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 11:6". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/ecclesiastes-11.html.