555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

516. What Is Meant by "Cast Thy Bread Upon the Waters"?

The illustration in Ecclesiastes 11:1 is taken from the custom of sowing seed by casting it from the boats into the overflowing Nile, or in marshy ground. When the waters recede, the grain in the alluvial soil springs up. "Waters" expresses multitudes, whose seemingly hopeless character as recipients of charity may turn out better than we anticipate, so that our gift would prove at last not to have been thrown away. The day may be near when we ourselves may need the help of those whom we have bound to us by kindness.