View Ecclesiastes 5 in the note window.
Solomon here discourses of the worship of God, as a remedy against all
these vanities, but warns us of vanities therein, ver. 1 - 7.
Directs us to eye God as our judge, ver. 8.
Shews the vanity of riches, ver. 9 - 17.
And recommends the chearful use of what God has given us, ver. 18 - 20.
1: Thy foot - Thy thoughts and affections, by which men go to God
and walk with him. To hear - To hearken to and obey God's word.
Of fools - Such as wicked men use to offer, who vainly think to please
God with their sacrifices without obedience. For - They are not sensible
of the great sinfulness of such thoughts.
2: Rash - Speak not without due consideration. To utter - Either
in prayer, or vows. For God - Is a God of infinite majesty, holiness,
and knowledge. Thy words - Either in prayer or in vowing.
3: A dream - When men are oppressed with business in the day, they
dream of it in the night. Is known - It discovers the man to be a
foolish, and rash, and inconsiderate man. Of words - Either in prayer,
or in vowing, by making many rash vows, of which he speaks ver.(Ec 5,4-7),
and then returns to the mention of multitude of dreams and many words,
ver. 7, which verse may be a comment upon this, and which makes it
probable that both that and this verse are to be understood of vows
rather than of prayers.
4: In fools - In perfidious persons, who, when they are in distress,
make liberal vows, and when the danger is past, break them.
6: Thy mouth - By any rash vow. Thy flesh - Thyself, the word
flesh being often put for the whole man. The angel - The priest or
ministers of holy things. Such persons are often called angels,
or, as this Hebrew word is commonly rendered, messengers.
And this title seems to be given to the priest here, because the vow
made to God, was paid to the priest as one standing and acting in God's
name and stead, and it belonged to him, as God's angel or ambassador,
to discharge persons from their vows when there was just occasion.
It was - I did unadvisedly in making such a vow. Angry - Why wilt thou
provoke God to anger at these frivolous excuses? Destroy - Blast all
thy labours, and particularly that work or enterprize for the success
whereof thou didst make these vows.
7: For - There is a great deal of folly, as in multitude of
dreams, which for the most part are vain and insignificant, so also
in many words, in making many vows whereby a man is exposed to many
snares and temptations. But - Fear the wrath of God, and therefore be
sparing in making vows, and just in performing them.
8: If - Here is an account of another vanity, and a sovereign
antidote against it. Marvel not - As if it were inconsistent with
God's wisdom, and justice, to suffer such disorders. For - The most
high God who is infinitely above the greatest of men. Regardeth - Not
like an idle spectator, but a judge, who diligently observes, and
will effectually punish them. Higher - God: it is an emphatical
repetition of the same thing.
9: Profit - The fruits of the earth. For all - Necessary and
beneficial to all men. The wise man, after some interruption, returns to
his former subject, the vanity of riches, one evidence whereof he mentions
in this verse, that the poor labourer enjoys the fruits of the earth as
well as the greatest monarch. Is served - Is supported by the fruits of
13: To their hurt - Because they frequently are the occasions both
of their present and eternal destruction.
14: Perish - By some wicked practices, either his own, or of other
men. Nothing - In the son's possession after his father's death.
15: To go - Into the womb of the earth, the common mother of all
mankind. Take nothing - This is another vanity. If his estate be neither
lost, nor kept to his hurt, yet when he dies he must leave it behind him,
and cannot carry one handful of it into another world.
16: The wind - For riches, which are empty and unsatisfying,
uncertain and transitory, which no man can hold or stay in its
course, all which are the properties of the wind.
17: He eateth - He hath no comfort in his estate, but even when he
eats, he doth it with anxiety and discontent. And wrath - When he falls
sick, and presages his death, he is filled with rage, because he is cut
off before he hath accomplished his designs, and because he must leave
that wealth and world in which all his hopes and happiness lie.
18: Good - Good or comfortable to a man's self, and comely or
amiable in the eye of other men. His portion - Of worldly goods; he hath
a better portion in heaven. This liberty is given him by God, and this
is the best advantage, as to this life, which he can make of them.
19: To take - To use what God hath given him.
20: Remember - So as to disquiet himself. The days - The troubles;
days being put here for evil, or, sad days. Answereth - His desires,
in giving him solid joy and comfort.