1 Guard your steps when you go to Godís house; for to draw near to
listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they donít know
that they do evil. 2 Donít be rash with your mouth, and donít 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. 3 For as a dream comes with a
multitude of cares, so a foolís speech with a multitude of words. 4 When
you vow a vow to God, donít defer to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools.
Pay that which you vow. 5 It is better that you should not vow, than that
you should vow and not pay. 6 Donít allow your mouth to lead you into sin.
Donít protest before the messenger that this was a mistake. Why should God be
angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For in the
multitude of dreams there are vanities, as well as in many words: but you
must fear God.
8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of
justice and righteousness in a district, donít marvel at the matter: for one
official is eyed by a higher one; and there are officials over them.
9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all. The king profits from the
10 He who loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who
loves abundance, with increase: this also is vanity. 11 When goods
increase, those who eat them are increased; and what advantage is there to
its owner, except to feast on them with his eyes?
12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much;
but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.
13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: wealth kept
by its owner to his harm. 14 Those riches perish by misfortune, and if he
has fathered a son, there is nothing in his hand. 15 As he came forth from
his motherís womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing
for his labor, which he may carry away in his hand. 16 This also is a
grievous evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go. And what profit
does he have who labors for the wind? 17 All his days he also eats in
darkness, he is frustrated, and has sickness and wrath.
18 Behold, 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 labor, in which he labors under
the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; for this is his
portion. 19 Every 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 labor ó this is the gift of God. 20 For he shall not often reflect on
the days of his life; because God occupies him with the joy of his heart.
World English Bible - Public Domain