Ecclesiastes chapter 5

Vows are meaningless. And the pursuit of wealth is meaningless.

 


 

 

VOWS ARE MEANINGLESS

 

VERSE 1. Guard your steps when you go to God’s house; for to draw near to listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don’t know that they do evil.

NLT translation: As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.

your mouth shut. We should avoid making a promise to God.

In the U.S., most people pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States. However, this is a vow.

Ecclesiastes 5:1. Guard your steps when you go to God’s house; for to draw near to listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don’t know that they do evil.

Matthew 5:37. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.

James 5:12. But above all things, my brothers, don’t swear— not by heaven, or by the earth, or by any other oath; but let your “yes” be “yes”, and your “no”, “no”, so that you don’t fall into hypocrisy.

 

VERSE 2. Don’t be rash with your mouth, and don’t let your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you on earth. Therefore let your words be few.

let your words be few. We should be slow to speak and quick to listen.

James 1:19. So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;

 

VERSE 3. For as a dream comes with a multitude of cares, so a fool’s speech with a multitude of words.

a dream. Some Bibles translate it as “a nightmare.”

 

VERSE 4. When you vow a vow to God, don’t defer to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you vow.

don’t defer to pay it. That is, don’t defer to fulfill your vow.

 

VERSE 5. It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.

 

VERSE 6. Don’t allow your mouth to lead you into sin. Don’t protest before the messenger that this was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands?

the messenger. That is, the person you made your vow before. God’s representative.

that this was a mistake. Don’t try to be excused from your vow.

 

VERSE 7. For in the multitude of dreams there are vanities, as well as in many words: but you must fear God.

 

THE PURSUIT OF WEALTH IS MEANINGLESS

 

VERSE 8. If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in a district, don’t marvel at the matter: for one official is eyed by a higher one; and there are officials over them.

 

VERSE 9. Moreover the profit of the earth is for all. The king profits from the field.

1 Timothy 6:7-8. For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can’t carry anything out. 8 But having food and clothing, we will be content with that.

 

VERSE 10. He who loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase: this also is vanity.

He who loves silver. Many Christians are in love with money. That is a trap:

1 Timothy 6:9. But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation, a snare, and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction.

 

VERSE 11. When goods increase, those who eat them are increased; and what advantage is there to its owner, except to feast on them with his eyes?

those who eat them are increased. That is, “there are many to devour them” (NAB translation).

 

VERSE 12. The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

 

VERSE 13. There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: wealth kept by its owner to his harm.

 

VERSE 14. Those riches perish by misfortune, and if he has fathered a son, there is nothing in his hand.

 

VERSE 15. As he came out of his mother’s womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing for his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.

naked shall he go again. We were naked when we were born. We brought nothing with us.

 

VERSE 16. This also is a grievous evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go. And what profit does he have who labors for the wind?

 

VERSE 17. All his days he also eats in darkness, he is frustrated, and has sickness and wrath.

 

VERSE 18. Behold, that which I have seen to be good and proper is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, in which he labors under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; for this is his portion.

NAB translation: Any man to whom God gives riches and property, and grants power to partake of them, so that he receives his lot and finds great joy in the fruits of his toil, has a gift from God.

has a gift from God. Does God reward holiness with wealth and prosperity? This is an age-old question. If God has granted you wealth and prosperity, enjoy it as a gift from God.

 

VERSE 19. Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat of it, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God.

 

VERSE 20. For he shall not often reflect on the days of his life; because God occupies him with the joy of his heart.

 


« ecclesiastes 4   THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES   ecclesiastes 6 »
OUTLINE   MEMORIZE

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.