Ecclesiastes 5

Think before you speak

1 Be careful about anything that you do in the temple. Listen well when you worship God. Some fools go to the temple and they give sacrifices to God. But they do it for the wrong reasons. They do not know that they have done a wrong thing!

2 You should think before you speak.

You should think before you promise something to God.

God is in heaven and he knows you well.

You are here on the earth.

And you do not see as much as God sees.

Do not say to God more than you have to say.

3 If you think about your troubles too much, you will dream about bad things.

If you talk too much, you will say silly things.

4 You should do what you have promised to God. You should do it when you can. You should not wait before you do it. Only a fool would not do what he had promised to God. 5 Do not promise to do something that you might not do. It would be better not to promise anything. 6 Only say things that are true. You should not say to the priest, ‘The promise that I said was a mistake.’ That would make God angry. God might destroy the things that you have worked for. 7 It is silly to dream all the time. Remember that. It is also silly to talk all the time. But you should obey God because he is a great God.

Money does not make you happy

8 The poor people who live in your country may be hungry. But the government does not help them, and the government is not fair to them. Do not be surprised about that. The government's officers do not decide what to do. Other more important people tell them what they must do. The king is the most important person in the country. 9 When people pay money to the government, the king receives a lot of it.

10 You may love money.

But you will never have enough money.

You may like to have valuable things.

But you will always want to have more of them. This is silly.

11 If you have a lot of money, other people will want some of it.

You will not enjoy the money that you have.

Other people will spend it for you.

12 A man who has worked all day will sleep well at night.

This is true even if he did not eat very much food.

But the rich man cannot sleep well because he has eaten too much.

13 I have seen something else that is not fair on the earth.

People may get a lot of money.

But, if they try to keep it,

it will be very bad for them.

14 At a future time, they may discover that they have lost all their money.

Then, after they die, there will be no money for their children.

15 They were born with nothing.

When they die, they will have nothing.

They cannot take anything with them when they leave this earth.

They will have nothing for all their work.

16 That is not fair.

People leave this earth, as they came into it, with nothing.

They live as if they were trying to catch the wind.

But after all their work, they have nothing.

17 During their lives, they are always sad, angry and sick.

18 God has given to us a short life on this earth. I think that we should enjoy our lives. We should eat and drink. And we should do our work well. That is what God wants us to do. 19 If you are rich, you will have many things. You should enjoy those things. You should enjoy your work, too. This is a gift from God to you. 20 God will keep you busy and he will make you happy. You will be too busy to think about your troubles each day.

5:20Here, the Teacher says that we should be honest. We should be honest when we worship God. The things that some people say may not be true. But God will know if they are not being honest. The Teacher tells us something else. Even if we have a lot of money, we may not be happy. But we should enjoy the things that God has given to us. And we should thank God for those things.