Ecclesiastes 5 New International Version (NIV)
Fulfill Your Vow to God
5 [a]Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
2 Do not be quick with your mouth,
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.
Riches Are Meaningless
8 If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. 9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
11 As goods increase,
12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:
wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
16 This too is a grievous evil:
As everyone comes, so they depart,
18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecclesiastes 5 New King James Version (NKJV)
Fear God, Keep Your Vows
5 Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
2 Do not be rash with your mouth,
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it;
6 Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse[a] and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.
The Vanity of Gain and Honor
8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.
9 Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field.
10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver;
11 When goods increase,
12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet,
13 There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun:
16 And this also is a severe evil—
18 Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. 19 As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.
Ecclesiastes 5 Good News Translation (GNT)
Don't Make Rash Promises
5 Be careful about going to the Temple. It is better to go there to learn than to offer sacrifices like foolish people who don't know right from wrong. 2 Think before you speak, and don't make any rash promises to God. He is in heaven and you are on earth, so don't say any more than you have to. 3 The more you worry, the more likely you are to have bad dreams, and the more you talk, the more likely you are to say something foolish. 4 So when you make a promise to God, keep it as quickly as possible. He has no use for a fool. Do what you promise to do. 5 Better not to promise at all than to make a promise and not keep it. 6 Don't let your own words lead you into sin, so that you have to tell God's priest that you didn't mean it. Why make God angry with you? Why let him destroy what you have worked for? 7 No matter how much you dream, how much useless work you do, or how much you talk, you must still stand in awe of God.
Life Is Useless
8 Don't be surprised when you see that the government oppresses the poor and denies them justice and their rights. Every official is protected by someone higher, and both are protected by still higher officials.
9 Even a king depends on the harvest.[a]
10 If you love money, you will never be satisfied; if you long to be rich, you will never get all you want. It is useless. 11 The richer you are, the more mouths you have to feed. All you gain is the knowledge that you are rich. 12 Workers may or may not have enough to eat, but at least they can get a good night's sleep. The rich, however, have so much that they stay awake worrying.
13 Here is a terrible thing that I have seen in this world: people save up their money for a time when they may need it,[b] 14 and then lose it all in some bad deal and end up with nothing left to pass on to their children. 15 We leave this world just as we entered it—with nothing. In spite of all our work there is nothing we can take with us. 16 It isn't right! We go just as we came. We labor, trying to catch the wind, and what do we get? 17 We get to live our lives in darkness and grief,[c] worried, angry, and sick.
18 Here is what I have found out: the best thing we can do is eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for during the short life that God has given us; this is our fate. 19 If God gives us wealth and property and lets us enjoy them, we should be grateful and enjoy what we have worked for. It is a gift from God. 20 Since God has allowed us to be happy, we will not worry too much about how short life is.
Ecclesiastes 5 The Message (MSG)
God’s in Charge, Not You
5 Watch your step when you enter God’s house.
2 Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think.
3 Overwork makes for restless sleep.
4-5 When you tell God you’ll do something, do it—now.
6 Don’t let your mouth make a total sinner of you.
7 But against all illusion and fantasy and empty talk
A Salary of Smoke
8-9 Don’t be too upset when you see the poor kicked around, and justice and right violated all over the place. Exploitation filters down from one petty official to another. There’s no end to it, and nothing can be done about it. But the good earth doesn’t cheat anyone—even a bad king is honestly served by a field.
10 The one who loves money is never satisfied with money,
11 The more loot you get, the more looters show up.
12 Hard and honest work earns a good night’s sleep,
13-17 Here’s a piece of bad luck I’ve seen happen:
Make the Most of What God Gives
18-20 After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.
Ecclesiastes 5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Reverence, Humility, and Contentment
5 [a] Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than the sacrifice offered by fools; for they do not know how to keep from doing evil.[b] 2 [c] Never be rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be quick to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few.
3 For dreams come with many cares, and a fool’s voice with many words.
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay fulfilling it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Fulfill what you vow. 5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake; why should God be angry at your words, and destroy the work of your hands?
7 With many dreams come vanities and a multitude of words;[d] but fear God.
8 If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and right, do not be amazed at the matter; for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. 9 But all things considered, this is an advantage for a land: a king for a plowed field.[e]
10 The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is vanity.
11 When goods increase, those who eat them increase; and what gain has their owner but to see them with his eyes?
12 Sweet is the sleep of laborers, whether they eat little or much; but the surfeit of the rich will not let them sleep.
13 There is a grievous ill that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owners to their hurt, 14 and those riches were lost in a bad venture; though they are parents of children, they have nothing in their hands. 15 As they came from their mother’s womb, so they shall go again, naked as they came; they shall take nothing for their toil, which they may carry away with their hands. 16 This also is a grievous ill: just as they came, so shall they go; and what gain do they have from toiling for the wind? 17 Besides, all their days they eat in darkness, in much vexation and sickness and resentment.
18 This is what I have seen to be good: it is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of the life God gives us; for this is our lot. 19 Likewise all to whom God gives wealth and possessions and whom he enables to enjoy them, and to accept their lot and find enjoyment in their toil—this is the gift of God. 20 For they will scarcely brood over the days of their lives, because God keeps them occupied with the joy of their hearts.
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