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Ecclesiastes 5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Your Attitude Toward God

[a]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. [b]Do not be hasty [c]in word or [d]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 let your words be few. For the dream comes through much [e]effort and the voice of a fool through many words.

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! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your [f]speech cause [g]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? For in many dreams and in many words there is [h]emptiness. Rather, [i]fear God.

If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the [j]sight; for one [k]official watches over another [l]official, and there are higher [m]officials over them. After all, a king who cultivates the field is an advantage to the land.

The Folly of Riches

10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is [n]vanity. 11 When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to [o]look on? 12 The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the [p]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 [q]hoarded by their owner to his hurt. 14 When those riches were lost through [r]a bad investment and he had fathered a son, then there was nothing [s]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 from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand. 16 This also is a grievous evil—exactly as a man [t]is born, thus will he [u]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 [v]fitting: to eat, to drink and [w]enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few [x]years of his life which God has given him; for this is his [y]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 [z]reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not often [aa]consider the [ab]years of his life, because God keeps [ac]him occupied with the gladness of his heart.


  1. Ecclesiastes 5:1 Ch 4:17 in Heb
  2. Ecclesiastes 5:2 Ch 5:1 in Heb
  3. Ecclesiastes 5:2 Lit with your mouth
  4. Ecclesiastes 5:2 Lit hurry your heart
  5. Ecclesiastes 5:3 Lit task
  6. Ecclesiastes 5:6 Lit mouth
  7. Ecclesiastes 5:6 Lit your body
  8. Ecclesiastes 5:7 Lit vanity
  9. Ecclesiastes 5:7 Or revere
  10. Ecclesiastes 5:8 Lit delight
  11. Ecclesiastes 5:8 Lit high one
  12. Ecclesiastes 5:8 Lit high one
  13. Ecclesiastes 5:8 Lit ones
  14. Ecclesiastes 5:10 Or futility
  15. Ecclesiastes 5:11 Lit see with their eyes
  16. Ecclesiastes 5:12 Lit satiety
  17. Ecclesiastes 5:13 Lit guarded
  18. Ecclesiastes 5:14 Lit an evil task
  19. Ecclesiastes 5:14 Lit in his hand
  20. Ecclesiastes 5:16 Lit comes
  21. Ecclesiastes 5:16 Lit go
  22. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Lit beautiful
  23. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Lit see good
  24. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Or days
  25. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Or share
  26. Ecclesiastes 5:19 Or share
  27. Ecclesiastes 5:20 Lit remember
  28. Ecclesiastes 5:20 Or days
  29. Ecclesiastes 5:20 So with Gr
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Ecclesiastes 5 New International Version (NIV)

Fulfill Your Vow to God

[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.

Do not be quick with your mouth,
    do not be hasty in your heart
    to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
    and you are on earth,
    so let your words be few.
A dream comes when there are many cares,
    and many words mark the speech of a fool.

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 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? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.

Riches Are Meaningless

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. The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.

10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
    whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
    This too is meaningless.

11 As goods increase,
    so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
    except to feast their eyes on them?

12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
    whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
    permits them no sleep.

13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:

wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14     or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when they have children
    there is nothing left for them to inherit.
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
    and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
    that they can carry in their hands.

16 This too is a grievous evil:

As everyone comes, so they depart,
    and what do they gain,
    since they toil for the wind?
17 All their days they eat in darkness,
    with great frustration, affliction and anger.

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.


  1. Ecclesiastes 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1 is numbered 4:17, and 5:2-20 is numbered 5:1-19.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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