cast your bread upon the waters

help others without expecting something in return
—Giving money to help children in Africa is my way to cast my bread upon the waters.

One of the proverbs in Ecclesiastes is the following:

Send your grain overseas [Cast thy bread upon the waters],
for after many days you will get a return. (Ecclesiastes 11:1)

Some think that this verse is talking about charity, that if you give generously you will be rewarded. Others think that it is about putting grain on ships to sell in faraway ports. While risky, this can bring great profit.

Today, the first part of this verse is often used by itself, which is why no return is expected.

 

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