Listen to God Rather Than Uttering Rash Vows

1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; draw near to listen [rather] than to offer a sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.
2 Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be quick to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you [are] on earth; therefore, let your words be few.
3 For a dream comes with many cares, and the voice of a fool with many words.
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it, for {he takes no pleasure} in fools. Fulfill what you vow!
5 It is better that you not vow than that you vow and not fulfill it.
6 Do not let your mouth lead your flesh into sin, and do not tell the messenger that it [was] a mistake. Why anger God at your words, so that he destroys the work of your hands?
7 For with many dreams [come] vanities and numerous words. Therefore, fear God!

Powerful Bureaucrats Exploit the Helpless Poor

8 Do not be surprised if you see the poor being oppressed with violence or [do not see] justice and righteousness in the province. For one official is watched by a higher official, and [there are] even higher officials over them!
9 The produce of the land is exploited by everyone; {even the king profits from the field [of the poor]}!

There is Never Enough Money to Satisfy

10 Whoever loves money is not satisfied [with] money, and whoever loves wealth [is] not [satisfied with] profit. This also [is] vanity!
11 When prosperity increases, those who consume it increase. {So its owner gains nothing, except to see his wealth before it is spent}.
12 The sleep of the laborer [is] pleasant, whether he eats little or much, but the wealth of the rich man does not allow him to rest.

Hoarding Wealth Can Backfire

13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: wealth {hoarded} by its owner to his harm.
14 That wealth was lost in a bad venture. Although he has borne a child, {he has nothing to leave to him}.
15 Just as he came from his mother's womb naked, {he will depart} just as he came; he will take nothing with him for his toil.
16 This also [is] a grievous illness. Exactly as he came, so he will go. What profit [does] he gain for all his toil for the wind?
17 Also, he eats in darkness all his days; he is frustrated [in] much sickness and resentment.

If You Have Wealth, Enjoy It as God Enables

18 Look! I have discovered what is good and fitting: to eat and to drink and {to enjoy} all [the fruit of] the toil with which one toils under the sun during the number of the days of his life that God gives to him--for this [is] his lot.
19 This indeed is a gift of God: everyone to whom God gives wealth and possessions, he also empowers him {to enjoy them}, to accept his lot, and to rejoice in [the fruit of] his toil.
20 For he does not remember the [brief] days of his life, for God keeps his heart preoccupied with enjoyment [of life].