Ecclesiastes 5:4
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

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.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

"For out of the prison-house he goeth forth to reign as king, although he was born as a poor man in his kingdom." With כּי the properties of poverty and wisdom attributed to the young man are verified, - wisdom in this, that he knew how to find the way from a prison to a throne. As harammim, 2 Chronicles 22:5 equals haarammim, 2 Kings 8:28, so hasurim equals haasurim (cf. masoreth equals maasoreth, Ezekiel 20:37); beth haasirim (Kerı̂; haasurim), Judges 16:21, Judges 16:25, and beth haesur, Jeremiah 38:15, designate the prison; cf. Mod katan, Ecclesiastes 3:1. The modern form of the language prefers this elision of the א, e.g., אפלּוּ equals אף אלּוּ, אלתּר equals אל־אתר, בּתר post equals בּאתר contra, etc. The perf. יחא is also thought of as having reached the throne, and having pre-eminence assigned to him as such. He has come forth from the prison to become king, רשׁ ... כּי. Zckler translates: "Whereas also he that was born in his kingdom was poor," and adds the remark: "גם כי, after the כי of the preceding clause, does not so much introduce a verification of it, as much rather an intensification; by which is expressed, that the prisoner has not merely transitorily fallen into such misery, but that he was born in poor and lowly circumstances, and that in his own kingdom בּם, i.e., in the same land which he should afterwards rule as king." But גם כי is nowhere used by Koheleth in the sense of "ja auch" ( equals whereas also); and also where it is thus to be translated, as at Jeremiah 14:18; Jeremiah 23:11, it is used in the sense of "denn auch" ( equals for also), assigning proof. The fact is, that this group of particles, according as כי is thought of as demonst. or relat., means either "denn auch," Ecclesiastes 4:16; Ecclesiastes 7:22; Ecclesiastes 8:16, or "wenn auch" equals ἐὰν καί, as here and at Ecclesiastes 8:12. In the latter case, it is related to כּי גּם (sometimes also merely גּם, Psalm 95:9; Malachi 3:15), as ἐὰν (εἰ) καί, although, notwithstanding, is to καὶ ἐάν (εἰ), even although.

(Note: That the accentuation separates the two words גם־ כי is to be judged from this, that it almost everywhere prefers אם־ כי (vid., under Comm. to Psalm 1:2).)

Thus 14b, connecting itself with למלך, is to be translated: "although he was born (נולד,not נולד) in his kingdom as a poor man."

(Note: נולד רש cannot mean "to become poor." Grtz appeals to the Mishnic language; but no intelligent linguist will use נולד רשׁ of a man in any other sense than that he is originally poor.)

We cannot also concur with Zckler in the view that the suff. of :_b refers to the young upstart: in the kingdom which should afterwards become his; for this reason, that the suff. of תח, Ecclesiastes 4:16, refers to the old king, and thus also that this designation may be mediated, בם must refer to him. מלכות signifies kingdom, reign, realm; here, the realm, as at Nehemiah 9:35, Daniel 5:11; Daniel 6:29. Grtz thinks Ecclesiastes 4:13-16 ought to drive expositors to despair. But hitherto we have found no room for despair in obtaining a meaning from them. What follows also does not perplex us. The author describes how all the world hails the entrance of the new youthful king on his government, and gathers together under his sceptre.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

vowest

Genesis 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat...

Genesis 35:1,3 And God said to Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar to God...

Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow to the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word...

Deuteronomy 23:21-23 When you shall vow a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not slack to pay it: for the LORD your God will surely require it of you...

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 bring presents to him that ought to be feared.

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 the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yes...

Matthew 5:33 Again, you have heard that it has been said by them of old time, You shall not forswear yourself...

for

Psalm 147:10,11 He delights not in the strength of the horse: he takes not pleasure in the legs of a man...

Malachi 1:10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nothing? neither do you kindle fire on my altar 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 pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Cross References
Numbers 30:2
If a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

Deuteronomy 23:21
"If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin.

Judges 11:35
And as soon as he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, "Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the LORD, and I cannot take back my vow."

Psalm 22:25
From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him.

Psalm 50:14
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,

Psalm 66:13
I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you,

Psalm 66:14
that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.

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