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Bible Commentaries

Geneva Study Bible

Ecclesiastes 5

Verse 1

5:1 Keep thy {m} foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of {n} fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

(m) That is, with what affection you come to hear the word of God.

(n) Meaning, of the wicked, who think to please God with common uses, and have neither faith nor repentance.

Verse 2

5:2 Be not {a} rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter [any] thing before God: for God [is] in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be {b} few.

(a) Either in vowing or in praying, meaning, that we should use all reverence toward God.

(b) He hears you not for the sake of your many words or often repetitions, but considers your faith and servant’s mind.

Verse 4

5:4 When thou vowest a vow to God, defer not to pay it; for [he hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast {c} vowed.

(c) He speaks of vows which are approved by God’s word and serve to his glory.

Verse 6

5:6 Allow not thy mouth to cause thy {d} flesh to sin; neither say thou before the {e} angel, that it [was] an error: why should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thy hands?

(d) Do not cause yourself to sin by vowing rashly as they do who make a vow to live unmarried and such like.

(e) That is, before God’s messenger when he will examine your doing, as though your ignorance should be a just excuse.

Verse 8

5:8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, wonder not at the matter: for [he that is] {f} higher than the highest regardeth; and [there are] higher than they.

(f) Meaning, that God will address these things, and therefore we must depend on him.

Verse 9

5:9 Moreover the {g} profit of the earth is for all: the king {h} [himself] is served by the field.

(g) The earth is to be preferred above all things which belong to this life.

(h) Kings and princes cannot maintain their estate without tillage, which commends the excellency of tillage.

Verse 12

5:12 The sleep of a labouring man [is] sweet, whether he eateth little or much: but the {i} abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

(i) That is, his great abundance of riches, or the surfeiting, which comes by his great feeding.

Verse 13

5:13 There is a grievous evil [which] I have seen under the sun, [namely], riches {k} kept for the owners of them to their hurt.

(k) When covetous men heap up riches, which turn to their destruction.

Verse 14

5:14 But those riches perish by evil labour: and he begetteth a son, and [there is] nothing in his {l} hand.

(l) He does not enjoy his father’s riches.

Verse 16

5:16 And this also [is] a grievous evil, [that] in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the {m} wind?

(m) Meaning, in vain and without profit.

Verse 17

5:17 All his days also he eateth in {n} darkness, and [he hath] much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

(n) In affliction and grief of mind.

Verse 18

5:18 Behold [that] which I have seen: [it is] good and proper [for one] to {o} eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it [is] his portion.

(o) Read Geneva "Ecclesiastes 3:22"

Verse 20

5:20 For he shall not much remember the days of his {p} life; because God answereth [him] in the joy of his heart.

(p) He will take no great thought for the pains that he has endured in times past.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Ecclesiastes 5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.