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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 5

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1 a 5:1 In Heb. 4:17 . Go circumspectly when you visit the house of God. Better draw near in obedience than offer the sacrifice of fools, who sin without a thought. 2 b 5:2 In Heb. 5:1 . Do not be impulsive in speech, nor be guilty of hasty utterance in God's presence. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. 3Dreams come with much business; the voice of the fool comes with much chatter. 4When you make a vow to God, do not be dilatory in paying it, for he has no use for fools. Whatever you vow, pay! 5Better not vow at all than vow and fail to pay. 6Do not let your tongue lead you into sin, and then say before the angel of God that it was unintentional, or God will be angry at your words, and all your achievements will be brought to nothing. 7A profusion of dreams and a profusion of words are futile. Therefore fear God.

8If in some province you witness the oppression of the poor and the denial of right and justice, do not be surprised at what goes on, for every official has a higher one set over him, and the highest keeps watch over them all. 9The best thing for a country is a king whose c 5:9 whose: prob. rdg; Heb. for. own lands are well tilled.

10No one who loves money can ever have enough, and no one who loves wealth enjoys any return from it. This too is futility. 11When riches increase, so does the number of parasites living off them; and what advantage has the owner, except to feast his eyes on them? 12Sweet is the sleep of a labourer whether he has little or much to eat, but the rich man who has too much cannot sleep.

13There is a singular evil here under the sun which I have seen: a man hoards wealth to his own hurt, 14in that the wealth is lost through an unlucky venture, and the owner's son is left with nothing. 15As he came from the womb of mother earth, so, naked as he came, must he return; all his toil produces nothing he can take away with him. 16This too is a singular evil: exactly as he came, so shall he go, and what profit does he get when his labour is all for the wind? 17What is more, all his days are overshadowed; gnawing anxiety d 5:17 gnawing anxiety: so Gk; Heb. he eats. and great vexation are his lot, sickness and resentment.

18This is what I have seen: that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink and enjoy himself in return for his labours here under the sun, throughout the brief span of life which God has allotted him. 19Moreover, it is a gift of God that everyone to whom he has granted wealth and riches and the power to enjoy them should accept his lot and rejoice in his labour. 20He will not brood overmuch on the passing years, for God fills his e 5:20 his: prob. rdg; Heb. omits. time with joy of heart.

Notes:

a 5:1 In Heb. 4:17 .

b 5:2 In Heb. 5:1 .

c 5:9 whose: prob. rdg; Heb. for.

d 5:17 gnawing anxiety: so Gk; Heb. he eats.

e 5:20 his: prob. rdg; Heb. omits.

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