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Ecclesiastes 5 NCV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Be careful when you go to worship at the Temple. It is better to listen than to offer foolish sacrifices without even knowing you are doing wrong. 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 Think before you speak, and be careful about what you say to God. God is in heaven, and you are on the earth, so say only a few words to God. 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 The saying is true: Bad dreams come from too much worrying, and too many words come from foolish people. 3 As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.
4 If you make a promise to God, don't be slow to keep it. God is not happy with fools, so give God what you promised. 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.
5 It is better not to promise anything than to promise something and not do it. 5 It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.
6 Don't let your words cause you to sin, and don't say to the priest at the Temple, "I didn't mean what I promised." If you do, God will become angry with your words and will destroy everything you have worked for. 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 Many useless promises are like so many dreams; they mean nothing. You should respect God. 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
8 In some places you will see poor people mistreated. Don't be surprised when they are not treated fairly or given their rights. One officer is cheated by a higher officer who in turn is cheated by even higher officers. 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 wealth of the country is divided up among them all. Even the king makes sure he gets his share of the profits. 9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
10 Whoever loves money will never have enough money; Whoever loves wealth will not be satisfied with it. This is also useless. 10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
11 The more wealth people have, the more friends they have to help spend it. So what do people really gain? They gain nothing except to look at their riches. 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 Those who work hard sleep in peace; it is not important if they eat little or much. But rich people worry about their wealth and cannot sleep. 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 I have seen real misery here on earth: Money saved is a curse to its owners. 13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner,
14 They lose it all in a bad deal and have nothing to give to their children. 14 or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him.
15 People come into this world with nothing, and when they die they leave with nothing. In spite of all their hard work, they leave just as they came. 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, too, is real misery: They leave just as they came. So what do they gain from chasing the wind? 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 they get are days full of sadness and sorrow, and they end up sick, defeated, and angry. 17 All his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.
18 I have seen what is best for people here on earth. They should eat and drink and enjoy their work, because the life God has given them on earth is short. 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 God gives some people the ability to enjoy the wealth and property he gives them, as well as the ability to accept their state in life and enjoy their work. 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 They do not worry about how short life is, because God keeps them busy with what they love to do. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.