Perhaps I cross the boundary into "religio-sci-fantasy" a'la Discovery Channel by eulogizing קהלת son of David as an observant Mathematician.
Perhaps, קהלת/Ecclesiates is a Mathematical-Physics thesis encoded in poetry as a thesis of social-behavioural iteration.
The קהלת/Aggregator/Congregator/Assembler (perhaps, ancient terminology to describe the Mathematician beyond his times) starts by declaring that everything constitutes a zero-sum game.
Zeroes of zero, zero of zeroes, zero sum.
And then he uses the cyclical repetition of daily life and conflicts to illustrate the iteration it takes for the game to achieve equilibrium.
He then says, as any zero-sum-gamer would tell/program the experimental entities - go motivate yourselves to obtain maximum gain for yourselves, be selfish or be thoughtful, be conflicting but it all will iterate as zero-sum states. That all transitional states would finally come to some equilibrium zero-sum states.
There was no gain under the sun.
In chapter 3, he sets up a transition-state table. As a 2-dimensionally coupled poem. There are two modes of coupling/couplet.
- each line constructs a pair of antithetical couplet
- each pair of lines constitutes a parallel couplet.
He begins by explaining his transition-state table that every period and state has an event. And there is a state for every thing under the sun. A period would mean an iteration within a series of iterations.
Actually, it is a state table rather than a state-transition table, because he explains the transitions of the states within the whole book of Ecclesiates.
At the end of setting up the table, he says that the Creator has set up the case/context/concern (mistranslated as travails). Concern as in concern-oriented-programming. And the concern/context has been dispensed to mankind to provide a response.
And in 11:1 he gives the advice on how to resolve state-machine conflicts:
Send your conflict upon the surface of the waters and after many days, you will resolve it (find its resolution).
Perhaps, he is saying, when an iteration is stuck in conflict, send it to the openness and transparency of a fluid trading/market and it will resolve itself. The verse specifically used the verb שלח (send) not שליך (throw/cast). And specified the surface (פני ) of the waters not in/beneath the waters.
To respond to the question
The parallel couplet of the pair antithetical couplets are
A state to cast away stone, a state to gather stones
A state to embrace, at state to ignore embrace.
Which I read as,
A state to deliberately cause divergence,
A state to deliberately cause convergence,
A state to accept convergence,
A state to ignore convergence.
What I mean by convergence, is a state whereby your state-machine needs to collect and synchronise members of the field. Perhaps, a rest state (Sabbath or Jubilee state). And then another state to scatter them again. A state to accept convergence and a state to reject frivolous/unneccesary requests for convergence.
He implies, under localised conditions they do not realise it is but a zero-sum on a global scale(under the sun). Though, a wise man may think to know about it but he would not actually find it happening - as he only has a localised view.
So the wise קהלת/assembler urges the audience of his assembly to try this zero-sum game. To be either cruel or kind, greedy or considerate - every time, every state is but iterates into yet another zero-sum state.
He would be saying
Go on indulge in over-consumption and over-production but that would cause millions of born/unborn humans to perish because it is a zero-sum game. Go on and hoard your riches, but it is still a zero-sum game.
He uses his state-machine to illustrate what he perceives of the world. In 8:14 he says
There is zero-sum constructed on the earth. It involves the righteous as well as the wicked. I reiterate it is but zero-sum.
So, his advice to those who have hoarded too much to cause a pareto/bottleneck conflict, they should give some away like an airplane burdened by too much fuel - otherwise you do not know what evil will befall the earth. Give some away, send them to the waters, to the flux of the market and the bottleneck will unstuck itself after many days.
I simply felt that the stones had to be explained in the whole context of the Assembler's game-theory.