|New International Version (©2011)|
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.
New Living Translation (©2007)
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.
English Standard Version (©2001)
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 let your words be few.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
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.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
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.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
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.
International Standard Version (©2012)
Don't be impulsive with your mouth nor be in a hurry to talk in God's presence. Since God is in heaven and you're on earth, keep your speech short.
NET Bible (©2006)
Do not be rash with your mouth or hasty in your heart to bring up a matter before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth! Therefore, let your words be few.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
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.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and you upon earth: therefore let your words be few.
American King James Version
Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and you on earth: therefore let your words be few.
American Standard Version
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.
Speak not any thing rashly, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
Darby Bible Translation
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.
English Revised Version
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.
Webster's Bible Translation
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
World English Bible
Don't be rash with your mouth, and don't let your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
Young's Literal Translation
Cause not thy mouth to hasten, and let not thy heart hasten to bring out a word before God, for God is in the heavens, and thou on the earth, therefore let thy words be few.
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-3 Address thyself to the worship of God, and take time to compose thyself for it. Keep thy thoughts from roving and wandering: keep thy affections from running out toward wrong objects. We should avoid vain repetitions; copious prayers are not here condemned, but those that are unmeaning. How often our wandering thoughts render attendance on Divine ordinances little better than the sacrifice of fools! Many words and hasty ones, used in prayer, show folly in the heart, low thoughts of God, and careless thoughts of our own souls.
Verse 2. - Koheleth warns against thoughtless words or hasty professions in prayer, which formed another feature of popular religion. Be not rash with thy mouth. The warning is against hasty and thoughtless words in prayer, words that go from the lips with glib facility, but come not from the heart. Thus our Lord bids those who pray not to use vain repetitions (μὴ βαττολογήσατε), as the heathen, who think to be heard for their much speaking (Matthew 6:7). Jesus himself used the same words in his prayer in the garden, and he continually urges the lesson of much and constant prayer - a lessen enforced by apostolic admonitions (see Luke 11:5, etc.; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17); but it is quite possible to use the same words, and yet throw the whole heart into them each time that they are repeated. Whether the repetition is vain or not depends upon the spirit of the person who prays. Let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God. We should weigh well our wishes, arrange them discreetly, ponder whether they are such as we can rightly make subjects of petition, ere we lay them in words before the Lord. "Before God" may mean in the temple, the house of God, where he is specially present, as Solomon himself testified (1 Kings 8:27, 30, 43). God is in heaven. The infinite distance between God and man, illustrated by the contrast of earth and the illimitable heaven, is the ground of the admonition to reverence and thoughtfulness (comp. Psalm 115:3, 16; Isaiah 4:8, 9; 66:1). Therefore let thy words be few, as becomes one who speaks in the awful presence of God. Ben-Sirs seems to have had this passage in mind when he writes (Ecclus. 7:14), "Prate not in a multitude of elders, and repeat not (μὴ δευτερώσης) the word in prayer." We may remember the conduct of the priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:26). Ginsburg and Wright quote the Talmudic precept ('Beraehoth,' 68. a), "Let the words of a man always be few in the presence of God, according as it is written," and then follows the passage in our text.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God,.... In private conversation care should be taken that no rash and unadvised words be spoken in haste, as were by Moses and David; and that no evil, nor even any idle word he uttered, since from, the abundance of the heart the mouth is apt to speak, and all is before, the Lord; not a word in the tongue but is altogether known by him, and must be accounted for to him, Psalm 106:33. Jerom interprets this of words spoken concerning God; and careful men should be of what they say of him, of his nature and perfections, of his persons, and of his works; and it may be applied to a public profession of his name, and of faith in him; though this should be done with the heart, yet the heart and tongue should not be rash and hasty in making it; men should consider what they profess and confess, and upon what foot they take up and make a profession of religion; whether they have the true grace of God or no: and it will hold true of the public ministry of the word, in which everything that comes uppermost in the mind, or what is crude and undigested, should not be, uttered; but what ministers have thought of, meditated on, well weighed in their minds, and properly digested. Some understand this of rash vows, such as Jephthah's, is supposed to be, which are later repented of; but rather speaking unto God in prayer is intended. So the Targum,
"thy, heart shall not hasten to bring out speech at the time thou prayest before the Lord;''
anything and everything that comes up into the mind should not be, uttered before God; not anything rashly and hastily; men should consider before they speak to the King of kings; for though set precomposed forms of prayer are not to be used, yet the matter of prayer should be thought of beforehand; what our wants are, and what we should ask for; whether for ourselves or others; this rule I fear we often offend against: the reasons follow;
for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; his throne is in the heavens, he dwells in the highest heavens, though they cannot contain him; this is expressive of his majesty, sovereignty, and supremacy, and of his omniscience and omnipotence; he is the high and lofty One, that dwells in the high and holy place; he is above all, and sees and knows all persons and things; and he sits in the heavens, and does whatever he pleases; and therefore all should stand in awe of him, and consider what they say unto him. Our Lord seems to have respect to this passage when he directed his disciples to pray, saying, "Our Father, which art in heaven", Matthew 6:9; and when we pray to him we should think what we ourselves are, that we are on the earth, the footstool of God; that we are of the earth, earthly; dwell in houses of clay, which have their foundation in the dust; crawling worms on earth, unworthy of his notice; are but dust and ashes, who take upon us to speak unto him;
therefore let, by words be few; of which prayer consists; such was the prayer of the publican, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner", Luke 18:13; and such the prayer which Christ has given as a pattern and directory to his people; who has forbid vain repetitions and much speaking in prayer, Matthew 6:7; not that all lengthy prayers are to be condemned, or all repetitions in them; our Lord was all night in prayer himself; and Nehemiah, Daniel, and others, have used repetitions in prayer, which may be done with fresh affection, zeal, and fervency; but such are forbidden as are done for the sake of being heard for much speaking, as the Heathens; and who thought they were not understood unless they said a thing a hundred times over (p); or when done to gain a character of being more holy and religious than others, as the Pharisees.
(p) "Ohe jam desine deos obtundere----Ut nihil credas intelligere, nisi idem dictum eat centies." Terent. Heautont. Acts 5. Sc. 1. v. 6, 8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. rash—opposed to the considerate reverence ("keep thy foot," Ec 5:1). This verse illustrates Ec 5:1, as to prayer in the house of God ("before God," Isa 1:12); so Ec 5:4-6 as to vows. The remedy to such vanities is stated (Ec 5:6). "Fear thou God."
God is in heaven—Therefore He ought to be approached with carefully weighed words, by thee, a frail creature of earth.
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