Introduction to Ecclesiastes Chapter 5
This chapter contains some rules and directions concerning the worship of God; how persons should behave when they go into the house of God; concerning hearing the word, to which there should be a readiness, and which should be preferred to the sacrifices of fools, Ecclesiastes 5:1. Concerning prayer to God; which should not be uttered rashly and hastily, and should be expressed in few words; which is urged from the consideration of the majesty of God, and vileness of men; and the folly of much speaking is exposed by the simile of a dream, Ecclesiastes 5:2. Concerning vows, which should not be rashly made; when made, should be kept; nor should excuses be afterwards framed for not performing them, since this might bring the anger of God upon men, to the destruction of the works of their hands, Ecclesiastes 5:4; and, as an antidote against those vanities, which appear in the prayers and vows of some, and dreams of others, the fear of God is proposed, Ecclesiastes 5:7; and, against any surprise at the oppression of the poor, the majesty, power, and providence of God, and his special regard to his people, are observed, Ecclesiastes 5:8. And then the wise man enters into a discourse concerning riches; and observes, that the fruits of the earth, and the culture of it, are necessary to all men, and even to the king, Ecclesiastes 5:9; but dissuades from covetousness, or an over love of riches; because they are unsatisfying, are attended with much trouble, often injurious to the owners of them; at length perish, and their possessors; who, at death, are stripped quite naked of all, after they have spent their days in darkness and distress, Ecclesiastes 5:10; and concludes, therefore, that it is best for a man to enjoy, in a free manner, the good things of this life he is possessed of, and consider them as the gifts of God, and be thankful for them; by which means he will pass through the world more comfortably, and escape the troubles that attend others, Ecclesiastes 5:18.