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Ecclesiastes 5:1–7

Fear God

1 nGuard your steps when you go to othe house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to poffer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore qlet your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with rmany words.

When syou vow a vow to God, tdo not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. uPay what you vow. vIt is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you3 into sin, and do not say before wthe messenger4 that it was xa mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity;5 but6 yGod is the one you must fear.

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Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — The New International Version (NIV)

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Do not be quick with your mouth,

do not be hasty in your heart

to utter anything before God.

God is in heaven

and you are on earth,

so let your words be few.

A dream comes when there are many cares,

and many words mark the speech of a fool.

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — New Living Translation (NLT)

As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.

Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.

When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.

Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.

Do not be rash with your mouth,

And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.

For God is in heaven, and you on earth;

Therefore let your words be few.

For a dream comes through much activity,

And a fool’s voice is known by his many words.

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it;

For He has no pleasure in fools.

Pay what you have vowed—

Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — New Century Version (NCV)

Be careful when you go to worship at the Temple. It is better to listen than to offer foolish sacrifices without even knowing you are doing wrong.

Think before you speak,

and be careful about what you say to God.

God is in heaven,

and you are on the earth,

so say only a few words to God.

The saying is true: Bad dreams come from too much worrying,

and too many words come from foolish people.

If you make a promise to God, don’t be slow to keep it. God is not happy with fools, so give God what you promised. It is better not to promise anything than to promise something and not do it. Don’t let your words cause you to sin, and don’t say to the priest at the Temple, “I didn’t mean what I promised.” If you do, God will become angry with your words and will destroy everything you have worked for. Many useless promises are like so many dreams; they mean nothing. You should respect God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God; for to draw nigh to hear is better than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they know not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh with a multitude of business, and a fool’s voice with a multitude of words. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou vowest. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thy hands? For in the multitude of dreams there are vanities, and in many words: but fear thou God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and draw near to hear, rather than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they know not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in the heavens, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business, and a fool’s voice through a multitude of words.

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an inadvertence. Wherefore should God be wroth at thy voice, and destroy the work of thy hands? For in the multitude of dreams are vanities; so with many words: but fear God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Watch your step when you go to the house of God. It is better to go there and listen than to bring the sacrifices fools bring. Fools are unaware that they are doing ⸤something⸥ evil. 

Don’t be in a hurry to talk. Don’t be eager to speak in the presence of God. Since God is in heaven and you are on earth, limit the number of your words. 

Daydreaming comes when there are too many worries. 

Careless speaking comes when there are too many words. 

When you make a promise to God, don’t be slow to keep it because God doesn’t like fools. Keep your promise. It is better not to make a promise than to make one and not keep it. Don’t let your mouth talk you into committing a sin. Don’t say in the presence of a ⸤temple⸥ messenger, “My promise was a mistake!” Why should God become angry at your excuse and destroy what you’ve accomplished? 

In spite of many daydreams, pointless actions, and empty words, you should still fear God. 

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Better to draw near in obedience than to offer the sacrifice as fools do, for they ignorantly do wrong. Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. For dreams result from much work and a fool’s voice from many words. When you make a vow to God, don’t delay fulfilling it, because He does not delight in fools. Fulfill what you vow. Better that you do not vow than that you vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth bring guilt on you, and do not say in the presence of the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry with your words and destroy the work of your hands? For many dreams bring futility, so do many words. Therefore, fear God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than the sacrifice offered by fools; for they do not know how to keep from doing evil. Never be rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be quick to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few.

For dreams come with many cares, and a fool’s voice with many words.

When you make a vow to God, do not delay fulfilling it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Fulfill what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake; why should God be angry at your words, and destroy the work of your hands?

With many dreams come vanities and a multitude of words; but fear God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God;

draw near to listen rather than to offer a sacrifice of fools,

for they do not know that they are doing evil.

Do not be rash with your mouth,

and do not let your heart be quick to utter a word before God.

For God is in heaven, and you are on earth;

therefore, let your words be few.

For a dream comes with many cares,

and the voice of a fool with many words.

When you make a vow to God,

do not delay in fulfilling it,

for he takes no pleasure in fools.

Fulfill what you vow!

It is better that you not vow

than that you vow and not fulfill it.

Do not let your mouth lead your flesh into sin,

and do not tell the messenger that it was a mistake.

Why anger God at your words,

so that he destroys the work of your hands?

For with many dreams come vanities and numerous words.

Therefore, fear God!

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

Be careful what you say when you go to God’s house. Go there to listen. Don’t be like foolish people when you offer your sacrifice. They do what is wrong and don’t even know it.

Don’t be too quick to speak.

Don’t be in a hurry to say anything to God.

He is in heaven. You are on earth.

So use only a few words when you speak.

Dreams come to people when they worry a lot.

When foolish people talk, they use too many words.

When you make a promise to God, don’t wait too long to carry it out. He isn’t pleased with foolish people. So do what you have promised. It is better to make no promise at all than to make a promise and not keep it.

Don’t let your mouth cause you to sin. Don’t object to the temple messenger. Don’t say, “My promise was a mistake.” Why should God be angry with what you say? Why should he destroy what you have done? Dreaming too much and talking too much are meaningless. So have respect for God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1–7 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.

Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.

For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.

When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow!

It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands?

For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.


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