Ecclesiastes 5International Standard Version (ISV)
Advice in Worship
5 [a]Watch your step whenever you visit God’s house, and come more ready to listen than to offer a fool’s sacrifice, since fools[b] never think they’re doing evil.
2 [c]Don’t be impulsive with your mouth nor be in a hurry to talk in God’s presence. Since God is in heaven and you’re on earth, keep your speech short. 3 Too many worries lead to nightmares, and a fool is known from talking too much.
Keep Your Promises to God
4 When you make a promise to God, don’t fail to keep it, since he isn’t pleased with fools. Keep what you promise— 5 it’s better that you don’t promise than that you do promise and not follow through.[d]6 Never let your mouth cause you[e] to sin and don’t proclaim in the presence of the angel,[f] “My promise[g] was a mistake,” for why should God be angry at your excuse[h] and destroy what you’ve undertaken? 7 In spite of many daydreams, pointless actions, and empty words, it is more important to fear God.
The Use and Abuse of Wealth
8 Don’t be surprised when you see the poor oppressed and the violent perverting both justice and verdicts[i] in a province, for one high official watches another, and there are ones higher still over them. 9 Also, the increase of the land belongs to everyone; the king himself is served by his[j] field.
10 Whoever loves money will never have enough money. Whoever loves luxury will not be content with abundance. This also is pointless. 11 When possessions increase, so does the number of consumers; therefore what good are they to their owners, except to look at them? 12 Sweet is the sleep of a working man, whether he eats a little or a lot, but the excess wealth of the rich will not allow him to rest.
13 I have observed a painful tragedy on earth:
Wealth hoarded by its owner harms him, 14 and that wealth is lost in troubled circumstances. Then a son is born, but there is nothing left for him.[k] 15 Just as he came naked from his mother’s womb, he will leave[l] as naked as he came; he will receive no profit from his efforts— he cannot carry away even a handful.
16 This is also a painful tragedy:
However a person comes, he also departs; so what does he gain as he labors after the wind? 17 Furthermore, all his days he lives[m] in darkness with great sorrow, anger, and affliction.
The Use and Abuse of Accomplishment
18 Look! I observed that it is good and prudent to eat, drink, and enjoy all that is good of a person’s[n] work that he does on earth during the limited days of his life, which God gives him, for this is his allotment. 19 Furthermore, for every person to whom God has given wealth, riches, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept this allotment, and to rejoice in his work—this is a gift from God. 20 For he will not brood much over the days of his life, since God will keep him occupied with the joys of his heart.
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