Ecclesiastes 5:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.

New Living Translation
It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.

English Standard Version
It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

New American Standard Bible
It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

King James Bible
Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Better that you do not vow than that you vow and not fulfill it.

International Standard Version
it's better that you don't promise than that you do promise and not follow through.

NET Bible
It is better for you not to vow than to vow and not pay it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It is better not to make a promise than to make one and not keep it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
It is better that thou should not vow than that thou should vow and not pay.

King James 2000 Bible
Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.

American King James Version
Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.

American Standard Version
Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And it is much better not to vow, than after a vow not to perform the things promised.

Darby Bible Translation
Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

English Revised Version
Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

Webster's Bible Translation
Better is it that thou shouldst not vow, than that thou shouldst vow and not pay.

World English Bible
It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.

Young's Literal Translation
Better that thou do not vow, than that thou dost vow and dost not 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 5. - Better is it that thou shouldest not vow. There is no harm in not vowing (Deuteronomy 23:22); but a vow once made becomes of the nature of an oath, and its non-performance is a sin and sacrilege, and incurs the punishment of false swearing. We gather from the Talmud that frivolous excuses for the evasion of vows were very common, and called for stern repression, One sees this in our Lord's references (Matthew 5:33-37; Matthew 23:16-22). St. Paul severely reprehends those women who break their vow of widowhood, "having condemnation, because they have rejected their first faith" (1 Timothy 5:12).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Better is it that thou shouldest not vow,.... For a vow is an arbitrary thing; a man is not bound to make it, and while he vows not, it is in his own power, and at his option, whether he will do this or that, or not; but when he has once vowed, he is then brought under an obligation, and must perform; see Acts 5:4; and therefore it is better not to vow; it is more acceptable to God, and, it is better for a man;

than that thou shouldest vow and not pay; for this shows great weakness and folly, levity and inconstancy, and is resented by the Lord.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. (De 23:21, 23).

Ecclesiastes 5:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Approaching God with Awe
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. 6Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands?…
Cross References
Acts 5:4
Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God."

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."

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

Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.

Deuteronomy 23:22 But if you shall forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in you.

Proverbs 20:25 It is a snare to the man who devours that which is holy, and after …

Acts 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not your own? and after it was sold, was …

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