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CHAPTER 5 Apr. 26 
The Preacher Advises to Fear God
1Guard your steps when you go to God’s house; for to draw near to listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don’t know that they do evil. 2Don’t be rash with your mouth, and don’t let your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you on earth. Therefore let your words be few. 3For as a dream comes with a multitude of cares, so a fool’s speech with a multitude of words. 4When you vow a vow to God, don’t defer to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you vow. 5It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. 6Don’t allow your mouth to lead you into sin. Don’t protest before the messenger that this was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? 7For in the multitude of dreams there are vanities, as well as in many words: but you must fear God. 8If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in a district, don’t marvel at the matter: for one official is eyed by a higher one; and there are officials over them.

The Preacher Observes Wealth

9Moreover the profit of the earth is for all. The king profits from the field. 10He who loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase: this also is vanity. 11When goods increase, those who eat them are increased; and what advantage is there to its owner, except to feast on them with his eyes? 12The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep. 13There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: wealth kept by its owner to his harm. 14Those riches perish by misfortune, and if he has fathered a son, there is nothing in his hand. 15As he came forth from his mother’s womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing for his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. 16This also is a grievous evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go. And what profit does he have who labours for the wind? 17All his days he also eats in darkness, he is frustrated, and has sickness and wrath. 18Behold, that which I have seen to be good and proper is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labour, in which he labours under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; for this is his portion. 19Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat of it, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour—this is the gift of God. 20For he shall not often reflect on the days of his life; because God occupies him with the joy of his heart.


5:2 God is in heaven, and you on earth- God is revealed as existing as a personal being in a specific location, Heaven. Although He is present everywhere by His Spirit, this doesn’t mean that He has no personal existence.
5:6 Don’t protest before the messenger- The Hebrew word ‘malak’ translated “messenger” is the usual word translated “angel”. It can be used of men, e.g. priests, or anyone who is a ‘messenger’. The Angels of God don’t sin (Lk. 20:35,36 cp. Rom. 6:23), but the word ‘malak’ can be applied to ordinary men, who of course can sin. The Greek word ‘aggelos’, usually translated ‘angel’, is applied to the human messengers of John the Baptist (Lk. 7:24). This confusion has led to some misunderstanding the few Bible verses which speak (in some translations) of ‘angels’ sinning; but those ‘angels’ referred to are human beings, representatives, servants or messengers of others, and don’t refer to ‘angels’ in the sense of spirit beings.