Ecclesiastes 5

1Be very careful when you go to worship God. It is better to listen ˻to God˼ than to give sacrifices like foolish people. Foolish people often do bad things, and they don’t even know it. 2Be careful when you make promises to God. Be careful about the things you say to God. Don’t let your feelings cause you to speak too soon. God is in heaven, and you are on the earth. So you need to say only a few things to God. This saying is true: 3Bad dreams come with too many worries, and a fool with too many words. 4If you make a promise to God, then keep your promise. Don’t be slow to do the thing you promised. God is not happy with foolish people. Give God what you promised to give him. 5It is better to promise nothing than to promise something and not be able to do it. 6So don’t let your words cause you to sin. Don’t say to the priest, “I didn’t mean what I said!” If you do this, then God might become angry with your words and destroy everything you have worked for. 7You should not let your useless dreams and bragging ˻bring you trouble˼. You should respect God. 8In some country you might see poor people that are forced to work very hard. You might see that this is not fair to the poor people. It is against the rights of the poor people. But don’t be surprised! The ruler that forces those people to work has another ruler that forces him. And there is still another ruler that forces both of these rulers. 9Even the king is a slave—his country owns him. 10The person that loves money will never be satisfied with the money he has. The person that loves wealth will not be satisfied when he gets more and more. This is also senseless. 11The more wealth a person has, the more “friends” he has to help spend it. So that rich person really gains nothing. He can only look at his wealth. 12A man that works hard all day comes home and sleeps in peace. It is not important if he has little or much to eat. But a rich person worries about his wealth and is not able to sleep. 13There is a very sad thing that I have seen happen in this life. A person saves his money for the future. 14And then something bad happens and he loses everything. So that person has nothing to give to his son. We Leave with Nothing 15A person comes into the world from his mother’s body with nothing. And when that person dies, he leaves the same way—with nothing. He works hard to get things. But he can take nothing with him when he dies. 16That is very sad. He will leave the world the same way he came. So, what does a person gain from his “trying to catch the wind”? 17He only gets days that are filled with sadness and sorrow. In the end, he is frustrated, sick, and angry! 18I have seen that this is the best a person can do: A person should eat, drink, and enjoy the work he does during his short life on earth. God has given him these few days, and that is all he has. 19If God gives a person wealth, property, and the power to enjoy those things, then that person should enjoy them. That person should accept the things he has and enjoy his work—that is a gift from God. 20A person does not have many years to live. So he must remember these things all his life. God will keep him busy with the work that person loves to do.

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