James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.Ecclesiastes 5:1-6:12
VARIETIES IN WORSHIP (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7)
On these verses the writer seems to muse on the relation of the unseen Being to the act of man in worship. Mindful of man’s jaunty liberalism and superstition, rash vows and wordy prayers, dreamy and unreal, because full of intruding vanities and worldly businesses, the preacher earnestly exhorts
to few words and solemn steps. But even then it is the natural man only who is speaking in the exhortation, not the regenerate man, because he speaks only of a God who is far away and looks upon sinful man on earth with cold, judicial eye, ready to destroy the work of man in wrath.
VANITIES OF WEALTH (Ecclesiastes 5:8-20)
Oppression of the poor by the rich (Ecclesiastes 5:8-9); dissatisfaction with mere abundance (Ecclesiastes 5:10-12); hoarded riches are an evil (Ecclesiastes 5:13-17); conclusion (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).
CONTRADICTIONS (Ecclesiastes 6)
This chapter is a contradiction of the conclusion reached at the close of the preceding one. He thought it was “good and comely for one to eat, and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor,” but now he is startled by discovering as a “common” experience that there are men of wealth and honor from whom God withheld this enjoyment (Ecclesiastes 6:1-2). Having begun his descent from the sunny slopes of a natural piety he sinks at last into the deepest melancholy. To be blessed with wealth, offspring, long life, and yet not have the “good” he once thought he had, were worse than never to have been. Before the mystery of it all he is dumb (Ecclesiastes 6:11-12).