Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Fulfill Your Vow to God

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 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 A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.
5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.
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 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.

Images for Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ECCLESIASTES 5

This chapter contains some rules and directions concerning the worship of God; how persons should behave when they go into the house of God; concerning hearing the word, to which there should be a readiness, and which should be preferred to the sacrifices of fools, Ec 5:1. Concerning prayer to God; which should not be uttered rashly and hastily, and should be expressed in few words; which is urged from the consideration of the majesty of God, and vileness of men; and the folly of much speaking is exposed by the simile of a dream, Ec 5:2,3. Concerning vows, which should not be rashly made; when made, should be kept; nor should excuses be afterwards framed for not performing them, since this might bring the anger of God upon men, to the destruction of the works of their hands, Ec 5:4-6; and, as an antidote against those vanities, which appear in the prayers and vows of some, and dreams of others, the fear of God is proposed, Ec 5:7; and, against any surprise at the oppression of the poor, the majesty, power, and providence of God, and his special regard to his people, are observed, Ec 5:8. And then the wise man enters into a discourse concerning riches; and observes, that the fruits of the earth, and the culture of it, are necessary to all men, and even to the king, Ec 5:9; but dissuades from covetousness, or an over love of riches; because they are unsatisfying, are attended with much trouble, often injurious to the owners of them; at length perish, and their possessors; who, at death, are stripped quite naked of all, after they have spent their days in darkness and distress, Ec 5:10-17; and concludes, therefore, that it is best for a man to enjoy, in a free manner, the good things of this life he is possessed of, and consider them as the gifts of God, and be thankful for them; by which means he will pass through the world more comfortably, and escape the troubles that attend others, Ec 5:18-20.

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 In-Context

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 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 A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.
5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.
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 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.
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 increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
10 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.
11 As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?

Cross References 8

  • 1. S Judges 11:35
  • 2. S Job 6:24; S Proverbs 10:19; Proverbs 20:25
  • 3. S Job 20:8
  • 4. Ecclesiastes 10:14
  • 5. S Deuteronomy 23:21; S Judges 11:35; Psalms 119:60
  • 6. S Numbers 30:2; Psalms 66:13-14; Psalms 76:11
  • 7. Numbers 30:2-4; Proverbs 20:25; John 2:9; Acts 5:4
  • 8. Ecclesiastes 3:14; Ecclesiastes 12:13