Ecclesiastes 5

Rash Vows

5:11 Be careful what you do2 when you go to the temple3 of God;

draw near to listen4 rather than to offer a sacrifice5 like fools,6

for they do not realize that they are doing wrong.

5:2 Do not be rash with your mouth or hasty in your heart to bring up a matter before God,

for God is in heaven and you are on earth!

Therefore, let your words be few.

5:3 Just as dreams come when there are many cares,7

so8 the rash vow9 of a fool occurs10 when there are many words.

5:4 When you make a vow11 to God, do not delay in paying it.12

For God13 takes no pleasure in fools:

Pay what you vow!

5:5 It is better for you not to vow

than to vow and not pay it.14

5:6 Do not let your mouth cause you15 to sin,

and do not tell the priest,16 “It was a mistake!”17

Why make God angry at you18

so that he would destroy the work of your hands?”

5:7 Just as there is futility in many dreams,

so also in many words.19

Therefore, fear God!

Government Corruption

5:8 If you see the extortion20 of the poor,

or the perversion21 of justice and fairness in the government,22

do not be astonished by the matter.

For the high official is watched by a higher official,23

and there are higher ones over them!24

5:9 The produce of the land is seized25 by all of them,

even the king is served26 by the fields.27


5:10 The one who loves money28 will never be satisfied with money,29

he who loves wealth30 will never be satisfied31 with his32 income.

This also is futile.

5:11 When someone’s33 prosperity34 increases, those who consume it also increase;

so what does its owner35 gain, except that he gets to see it with his eyes?36

5:12 The sleep of the laborer is pleasant – whether he eats little or much –

but the wealth of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

Materialism Thwarts Enjoyment of Life

5:13 Here is37 a misfortune38 on earth39 that I have seen:

Wealth hoarded by its owner to his own misery.

5:14 Then that wealth was lost through bad luck;40

although he fathered a son, he has nothing left to give him.41

5:15 Just as he came forth from his mother's womb, naked will he return as he came,

and he will take nothing in his hand that he may carry away from his toil.

5:16 This is another misfortune:42

Just as he came, so will he go.

What did he gain from toiling for the wind?

5:17 Surely, he ate in darkness every day of his life,43

and he suffered greatly with sickness and anger.

Enjoy the Fruit of Your Labor

5:18 I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people:44

to eat and drink,45 and find enjoyment in all their46 hard work47 on earth48

during the few days of their life which God has given them,

for this is their reward.49

5:19 To every man whom God has given wealth, and possessions,

he has also given him the ability50

to eat from them, to receive his reward and to find enjoyment in his toil;

these things51 are the gift of God.

5:20 For he does not think52 much about the fleeting53 days of his life

because God keeps him preoccupied54 with the joy he derives from his activity.55

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