Ecclesiastes 5 New American Standard Bible

The Folly of Rash Vows

5 1  Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools ; for they do not know they are doing evil . 2  Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God . For God is in heaven and you are on the earth ; therefore e let your words be few . 3  For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words .

4  When you make a vow to God , do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools . Pay what you vow ! 5  It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay . 6  Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake . Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands ? 7  For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness . Rather , fear God .

The Vanity of Life

8  If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province , do not be shocked at the sight ; for one official watches over e another official , and there are higher officials over them.

9  After all , a king who cultivates the field is an advantage to the land . 10  He who loves money will not be satisfied with money , nor he who loves abundance with its income . This too is vanity . 11  When good things increase , those who consume them increase . So what is the advantage to their owners except e to look e on? 12  The sleep of the working man is pleasant , whether he eats little or much ; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep . 13  There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun : riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt . 14  When those riches were lost through a bad investment and he had fathered a son , then there was nothing e to support him. 15  As he had come naked from his mother's womb , so will he return as he came . He will take nothing e from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand . 16  This also is a grievous evil -exactly as a man is born , thus will he die . So what is the advantage to him who toils for the wind ? 17  Throughout his life he also eats in darkness with great vexation , sickness and anger .

18  Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting : to eat , to drink and enjoy oneself in all one's labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward . 19  Furthermore , as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth , He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor ; this is the gift of God . 20  For he will not often consider the years of his life , because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart .


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