5 ·Be careful [Watch your step/L feet] when you go to worship at the ·Temple [L house of God]. It is better to listen than to offer ·foolish sacrifices [or the sacrifice of fools] without even knowing you are doing wrong.
2 ·Think before you speak [L Do not be quick with your mouth], and ·be careful about what you say [L do not let your heart rush to utter a word] to God. God is in heaven, and you are on the earth, so ·say only a few words to God [L let your words be few]. 3 Dreams come from too much ·worrying [or work], and too many words come from foolish people.
4 If you make a ·promise [vow] to God, don’t ·be slow to keep [delay to fulfill] it. ·God is not happy [L For there is no pleasure] with fools, so ·give God what you promised [L fulfill what you have vowed]. 5 It is better not to ·promise anything than to promise something and not do it [make a vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it; Deut. 23:21; Prov. 20:25; Matt. 23:16–22]. 6 Don’t let your ·words [L mouth] cause ·you [L your flesh] to sin, and don’t say to the ·priest at the Temple [L messenger], “·I didn’t mean what I promised [L It was a mistake].” ·If you do, God will [L Why should God…?] become angry with your words and will destroy ·everything you have worked for [L the work of your hands]. 7 Many useless [1:2] ·promises [or words] are like so many dreams; they mean nothing. You should ·respect [or be afraid of; 5:7; 7:18; 8:12, 13] God.
Officers Cheat Each Other
8 In some places you will see poor people ·mistreated [oppressed]. Don’t be surprised when they are ·not treated fairly [deprived/L robbed of justice] or ·given their rights [righteousness]. One ·officer [official; L higher-up] ·is cheated by [or watches out for] a higher ·officer [official] ·who in turn is cheated by even higher officers [L and there are officials/higher-ups over them]. 9 The ·wealth of the country [profit of the land] is ·divided up among them [L taken by] all. Even the king ·makes sure he gets his share of the profits [L benefits from the field].
Wealth Cannot Buy Happiness
10 Whoever loves money will never have enough money; Whoever loves ·wealth [riches] will not be satisfied with ·it [gain]. This is also useless [1:2]. 11 The more ·wealth [prosperity] people have, the more friends they have to ·help spend [consume] it. So what do people really ·gain [profit]? They ·gain [profit] nothing except to ·look at their riches [admire it]. 12 ·Those who work hard sleep in peace [L Sweet is the sleep of the laborer]; it is not important if they eat little or much. But ·rich people worry about their wealth and cannot [L the abundance of the wealthy does not let them] sleep.
13 ·I have seen real misery here [L There is a sickening evil I have seen] ·on earth [L under the sun; 1:3]: ·Money [Wealth] ·saved is a curse to [is hoarded to the harm of] its owners. 14 They lose ·it all [L that wealth] in a ·bad deal [evil/bad situation] and have nothing to give to their children. 15 People come ·into this world [L from the womb of their mother] ·with nothing [naked], and when they ·die [return] they leave with nothing. In spite of all their hard ·work [toil], they leave just as they came. 16 This, too, is ·real misery [a sickening evil]: They leave just as they came. So what do they ·gain [profit] from chasing the wind? 17 ·All they get are days full of sadness and sorrow [L They eat all their days in darkness], and they end up sick, defeated, and ·angry [frustrated].
Enjoy Your Life’s Work
18 I have ·seen [observed] what is ·best [good] for people ·here on earth [L under the sun; 1:3]. ·They [L It is fitting/appropriate that they] should eat and drink and enjoy their ·work [toil], because ·the life God has given them on earth is short [L that is their reward during the few days God has given to this person under the sun; 1:3]. 19 God gives some people the ability to enjoy the wealth and ·property [possessions] he gives them, as well as the ability to accept their ·state in life [reward] and ·enjoy [take pleasure in] their work. 20 They do not ·worry about how short life is [L remember much about the days of their life], because God keeps them busy with ·what they love to do [L the pleasure of their heart; 2:24–26; 3:12–14, 22; 8:15; 9:7–10; C the little pleasures are distractions from the meaningless world].
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