Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ecclesiastes Chapter 5

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Solomon
Date Penned: (935 BC)
Overview: Wisdom's Lessons from Experience (c 1-12)
Theme: Solomon's General Observation (c 3-5)
Message: Have Respect for God (v 1-16)

Ecclesiastes 5 Commentary 

(5:1) Approaching the Lord - "Keep thy foot" is a warning to approach God with care. When we approach God in prayer and worship, we should have the attitude of being open and ready to listen to him, not to dictate to him what we think he should do. 

(5:4-5) Foolish Vows - Solomon warns his readers about making foolish vows (promises) to God. In Israelite culture, making vows was a serious matter. Vows were voluntary, but once made, they could not be changed (Deuteronomy 23:21-23). It is foolish to make a vow you cannot keep or to play games with God by only partially fulfilling your vow (Proverbs 20:25). We would be better off not making a vow to God than making one and breaking it. (See the notes on Matthew 5:33-37.) 

(5:10-12) Desire - We always want more than we have. Solomon observed that those who spend their lives obsessively seeking money never have enough and never find the happiness it promises. Accumulating more and more wealth encourages greed, and wealth also attracts freeloaders and thieves, causes sleeplessness and fear, and ultimately ends in loss because it must be left behind (Mark 10:23-25; Luke 12:16-21). No matter how much you earn, if you try to create happiness by accumulating wealth, you will never have enough. Supporting yourself and your family financially is not wrong, but loving money leads to all sorts of sin. Whatever your financial situation, don't depend on money to make you happy or feel secure. Instead, use what you have for the Lord. 

(5:19-20) God Owns it All - God wants us to view what we have (whether it is much or little) with the right perspective: Our possessions are a gift from God. Although they are not the source of joy, they are a reason to rejoice because every good thing comes from God. We should focus more on the Giver than the gift. We can be content with what we have when we realize that with God we have everything we need.

Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we start the Book of Ecclesiastes with Chapter 5. In our text today, we look at the need to have Respect for God, His Lordship in our lives, and His Will in our Lives. We often seek a life driven by our will and pleasure, which could lead to oppression. In making an application, we see the vanity in making false vows and that our yea should be yea, meaning we should do what we say or what we can, but we should avoid making vows or promises. Trust the Lord and do His Will for your life instead of making promises the Lord did not intend for you to burden. How about you? Do you make promises? Let us learn from our text today that we need not make promises but live within our Lord's means.


Ecclesiastes 5

Ecclesiastes 5

 1Keep 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.

 2Be 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.

 3For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

 4When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

 5Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

 6Suffer 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?

 7For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

 8If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

 9Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.

 10He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

 11When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

 12The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

 13There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

 14But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.

 15As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

 16And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?

 17All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

 18Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to 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.

 19Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

 20For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.