1Guard your step when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not recognize that they are doing evil.
2Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not let your heart be hasty to utter a word in God’s presence. For God is in heaven and you are on earth, therefore let your words be few.
3For as a dream comes when there are a multitude of cares, so the voice of a fool comes with a multitude of words.
4When you vow a vow to God, do not delay in paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools; what you vow, pay!
5It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.
6Do not let your mouth cause your whole body to sin. Do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?
7For in many dreams and in many words there is much that is pointless. Rather, fear God!
8If you see the oppression of the poor, and the denial of justice and righteousness in the land, do not be amazed at the situation; for one authority watches over another authority, and there are higher authorities over them.
9But in all, an advantage for a land is this: a king, for the sake of agriculture.
10The one who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor will the one who loves abundance be satisfied with his income. This too is pointless.
11When goods increase, those who consume them increase, and what advantage is there to the owner, except to look at them with his eyes?
12The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the wealthy person will not allow him to sleep.
13There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: wealth kept by its owner to his harm.
14Then that wealth is lost through bad business dealings, and if he has fathered a son, there is nothing to pass on.a
15As he came out from his mother’s womb, naked will he go again as he came, and he will take nothing for his labor that he can carry away in his hand.
16This also is a grievous evil, that in the same way that he came, so will he go. And what profit does he have who labors for the wind?
17Also, all his days he eats in darkness, with much frustration and sickness and anger.
18Here is what I have seen to be good: it is appropriate for one to eat and to drink and to see good in all his labor in which he labors under the sun, all the days of his life that God has given him for this is his portion.
19Every man also to whom God has given wealth and riches, and has given him power to enjoy them and to accept his portion and to take pleasure in his labor—this is the gift of God.
20For he does not brood much over the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the joy of his heart.