Ecclesiastes 5:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.

New Living Translation
When you make a promise to God, don't delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him.

English Standard Version
When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.

New American Standard Bible
When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow!

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

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When you make a vow to God, don't delay fulfilling it, because He does not delight in fools. Fulfill what you vow.

International Standard Version
When you make a promise to God, don't fail to keep it, since he isn't pleased with fools. Keep what you promise—

NET Bible
When you make a vow to God, do not delay in paying it. For God takes no pleasure in fools: Pay what you vow!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When you make a promise to God, don't be slow to keep it because God doesn't like fools. Keep your promise.

Jubilee Bible 2000
When thou dost vow a vow unto God, do not defer to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed.

King James 2000 Bible
When you vow a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools: pay that which you have vowed.

American King James Version
When you vow a vow to God, defer not to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools: pay that which you have vowed.

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

Douay-Rheims Bible
If thou hast vowed any thing to God, defer not to pay it: for an unfaithful and foolish promise displeaseth him: but whatsoever thou hast vowed, pay it.

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

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

Webster's Bible Translation
When thou vowest a vow to God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

World English Bible
When you vow a vow to God, don't defer to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you vow.

Young's Literal Translation
When thou vowest a vow to God, delay not to complete it, for there is no pleasure in fools; that which thou vowest -- complete.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:4-8 When a person made engagements rashly, he suffered his mouth to cause his flesh to sin. The case supposes a man coming to the priest, and pretending that his vow was made rashly, and that it would be wrong to fulfil it. Such mockery of God would bring the Divine displeasure, which might blast what was thus unduly kept. We are to keep down the fear of man. Set God before thee; then, if thou seest the oppression of the poor, thou wilt not find fault with Divine Providence; nor think the worse of the institution of magistracy, when thou seest the ends of it thus perverted; nor of religion, when thou seest it will not secure men from suffering wrong. But though oppressors may be secure, God will reckon for all.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - Koheleth passes on to give a warning concerning the making of vows, which formed a great feature in Hebrew religion, and was the occasion of much irreverence and profanity. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it. There is here plainly a reminiscence of Deuteronomy 23:21-23. Vows are not regarded as absolute duties which every one was obliged to undertake. They are of a voluntary nature, but when made are to be strictly performed. They might consist of a promise to dedicate certain things or persons to God (see Genesis 38:20; Judges 11:30), or to abstain from doing certain things, as in the case of the Nazarites. The rabbinical injunction quoted by our Lord in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:33), "Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths," was probably levelled against profane swearing, or invoking God's Name lightly, but it may include the duty of performing vows made to or in the Name of God. Our Lord does not condemn the practice of corban, while noticing with rebuke a perversion of the custom (Mark 7:11). For he hath no pleasure in fools. The non-fulfillment of a vow would prove a man to be impious, in proverbial language "a fool," and as such God must regard him with displeasure. The clause in the Hebrew is somewhat ambiguous, being literally, There is no pleasure (chephets) in fools; i.e. no one, neither God nor man, would take pleasure in fools who make promises and never perform them. Or it may be, There is no fixed will in fools; i.e. they waver and are undecided in purpose. But this rendering of chephets appears to be very doubtful. Septuagint Ὅτι οὐκ ἔστι θέλημα ἐν ἄφροσι which reproduces the vagueness of the Hebrew; Vulgate, Displicet enim ei (Deo) infidelis et stulta promissio. The meaning is well represented in the Authorized Version, and we must complete the sense by supplying in thought "on the part of God." Pay that which thou but vowed. Ben-Sirs re-echoes the injunction (Ecclus. 18:22, 23), "Let nothing hinder thee to pay thy vow (εὐχὴν) in due time, and defer not until death to be justified [i.e. to fulfill the vow]. Before making a vow (εὔξασθαι) prepare thyself; and be not as one that tempteth the Lord." The verse is cited in the Talmud; and Dukes gives a parallel, "Before thou vowest anything, consider the object of thy vow" ('Rabb. Blumenl.,' p. 70). So in Proverbs 20:25 we have, according to some translations, "It is a snare to a man rashly to say, It is holy, and after vows to make inquiry." Septuagint," Pay thou therefore whatsoever thou shalt have vowed (ὅσα ἐάν εὔξη),

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

When thou vowest a vow unto God,.... Or "if thou vowest" (r), as the Vulgate Latin version; for vows are free and indifferent things, which persons may make or not; there is no precept for them in the word of God; instances and examples there are, and they may be lawfully made, when they are in the power of man to perform, and are not inconsistent with the will and word of God; they have been made by good men, and were frequent in former times; but they seem not so agreeable to the Gospel dispensation, having a tendency to ensnare the mind, to entangle men, and bring on them a spirit of bondage, contrary to that liberty wherewith Christ has made them free; and therefore it is better to abstain from them: holy resolutions to do the will and work of God should be taken up in the strength of divine grace; but to vow this, or that, or the other thing, which a man previous to his vow is not obliged unto, had better be let alone: but however, when a vow is made that is lawful to be done,

defer not to pay it; that is, to God, to whom it is made, who expects it, and that speedily, as Hannah paid hers; no excuses nor delays should be made;

for he hath no pleasure in fools; that is, the Lord hath no pleasure in them, he will not be mocked by them; he will resent such treatment of him, as to vow and not pay, or defer payment and daily, with him. So the Targum,

"for the Lord hath no pleasure in fools, because, they defer their vows, and do not pay;''

pay that which thou hast vowed; precisely and punctually; both as to the matter, manner, and time of it.

(r) "si quid vovisti", V. L.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. When thou vowest a vow unto God—Hasty words in prayer (Ec 5:2, 3) suggest the subject of hasty vows. A vow should not be hastily made (Jud 11:35; 1Sa 14:24). When made, it must be kept (Ps 76:11), even as God keeps His word to us (Ex 12:41, 51; Jos 21:45).

Ecclesiastes 5:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Approaching God with Awe
3For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words. 4When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! 5It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.…
Cross References
Numbers 30:2
When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.

Deuteronomy 23:21
If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.

Judges 11:35
When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, "Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break."

Psalm 22:25
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.

Psalm 50:14
"Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,

Psalm 66:13
I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you--

Psalm 66:14
vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble.

Psalm 76:11
Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared.

Proverbs 20:25
It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one's vows.

Jonah 2:9
But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, 'Salvation comes from the LORD.'"
Treasury of Scripture

When you vow a vow to God, defer not to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools: pay that which you have vowed.

vowest

Genesis 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep …

Genesis 35:1,3 And God said to Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and …

Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow to the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul …

Deuteronomy 23:21-23 When you shall vow a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not slack …

Psalm 50:14 Offer to God thanksgiving; and pay your vows to the most High:

Psalm 76:11 Vow, and pay to the LORD your God: let all that be round about him …

Psalm 119:106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep your righteous judgments.

Isaiah 19:21 And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know …

Matthew 5:33 Again, you have heard that it has been said by them of old time, …

for

Psalm 147:10,11 He delights not in the strength of the horse: he takes not pleasure …

Malachi 1:10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nothing? …

Hebrews 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure.

pay

Psalm 66:13,14 I will go into your house with burnt offerings: I will pay you my vows…

Psalm 116:14,16-18 I will pay my vows to the LORD now in the presence of all his people…

Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving; I will …

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