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Ecclesiastes 5 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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New Living Translation (NLT) New International Version (NIV)
1 As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut! Don't be a fool who doesn't realize that mindless offerings to God are evil. 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 And don't make rash promises to God, for he is in heaven, and you are only here on earth. So let your words be few. 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 Just as being too busy gives you nightmares, being a fool makes you a blabbermouth. 3 As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.
4 So when you make a promise to God, don't delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. 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 to say nothing than to promise something that you don't follow through on. 5 It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.
6 In such cases, your mouth is making you sin. And don't defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved. 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 Dreaming all the time instead of working is foolishness. And there is ruin in a flood of empty words. Fear God instead. 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
8 If you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and justice being miscarried throughout the land, don't be surprised! For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice only get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. 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 Even the king milks the land for his own profit! 9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
10 Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness! 10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
11 The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth -- except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers! 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 People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich are always worrying and seldom get a good night's 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 There is another serious problem I have seen in the world. Riches are sometimes hoarded to the harm of the saver, 13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner,
14 or they are put into risky investments that turn sour, and everything is lost. In the end, there is nothing left to pass on to one's children. 14 or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him.
15 People who live only for wealth come to the end of their lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day they were born. 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 And this, too, is a very serious problem. As people come into this world, so they depart. All their hard work is for nothing. They have been working for the wind, and everything will be swept away. 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 Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud -- frustrated, discouraged, and angry. 17 All his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.
18 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat well, drink a good glass of wine, and enjoy their work -- whatever they do under the sun -- for however long God lets them live. 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 And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life -- that is indeed a gift from God. 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 People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.