It was not to be

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<He tried to send ships to the stranded little colony across the sea. But it was not to be. >

What is understood after "it was not to be" and what is the meaning and role of "be to infinitive" in "it was not to be" ?

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BobK

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:up: Future. There's a similar "to" in "things to come": We have enough to deal with now; why waste time wondering about what is to come?

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BobK

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PS
It's occurred to me that the "to" in 'I wasn't to know' [meaning "I couldn't have known in advance"] has a similar sense of 'futureness'.

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