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Ecclesiastes 5 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Watch your step when you enter God's house. Enter to learn. That's far better than mindlessly offering a sacrifice, Doing more harm than good. 1 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 Don't shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think. Don't be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear. God's in charge, not you - the less you speak, the better. 2 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.
3 Over-work makes for restless sleep. Over-talk shows you up as a fool. 3 As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.
4 When you tell God you'll do something, do it - now. God takes no pleasure in foolish gabble. Vow it, then do it. 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.
5 Far better not to vow in the first place than to vow and not pay up. 5 It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.
6 Don't let your mouth make a total sinner of you. When called to account, you won't get by with "Sorry, I didn't mean it." Why risk provoking God to angry retaliation? 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 But against all illusion and fantasy and empty talk There's always this rock foundation: Fear God! 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
8 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. 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 But the good earth doesn't cheat anyone - even a bad king is honestly served by a field. 9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
10 The one who loves money is never satisfied with money, Nor the one who loves wealth with big profits. More smoke. 10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
11 The more loot you get, the more looters show up. And what fun is that - to be robbed in broad daylight? 11 As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?
12 Hard and honest work earns a good night's sleep, Whether supper is beans or steak. But a rich man's belly gives him insomnia. 12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.
13 Here's a piece of bad luck I've seen happen: A man hoards far more wealth than is good for him 13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner,
14 And then loses it all in a bad business deal. He fathered a child but hasn't a cent left to give him. 14 or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him.
15 He arrived naked from the womb of his mother; He'll leave in the same condition - with nothing. 15 Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.
16 This is bad luck, for sure - naked he came, naked he went. So what was the point of working for a salary of smoke? 16 This too is a grievous evil: As a man comes, so he departs, and what does he gain, since he toils for the wind?
17 All for a miserable life spent in the dark? 17 All his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.
18 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. 18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him--for this is his lot.
19 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! 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God.
20 God deals out joy in the present, the now. It's useless to brood over how long we might live. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.