Bible: Eccl 5:8-20

Government Corruption

5:8 If you see the extortion 1  of the poor,

or the perversion 2  of justice and fairness in the government, 3 

do not be astonished by the matter.

For the high official is watched by a higher official, 4 

and there are higher ones over them! 5 

5:9 The produce of the land is seized 6  by all of them,

even the king is served 7  by the fields. 8 

Covetousness

5:10 The one who loves money 9  will never be satisfied with money, 10 

he who loves wealth 11  will never be satisfied 12  with his 13  income.

This also is futile.

5:11 When someone’s 14  prosperity 15  increases, those who consume it also increase;

so what does its owner 16  gain, except that he gets to see it with his eyes? 17 

5:12 The sleep of the laborer is pleasant – whether he eats little or much

but the wealth of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

Materialism Thwarts Enjoyment of Life

5:13 Here is 18  a misfortune 19  on earth 20  that I have seen:

Wealth hoarded by its owner to his own misery.

5:14 Then that wealth was lost through bad luck; 21 

although he fathered a son, he has nothing left to give him. 22 

5:15 Just as he came forth from his mother's womb, naked will he return as he came,

and he will take nothing in his hand that he may carry away from his toil.

5:16 This is another misfortune: 23 

Just as he came, so will he go.

What did he gain from toiling for the wind?

5:17 Surely, he ate in darkness every day of his life, 24 

and he suffered greatly with sickness and anger.

Enjoy the Fruit of Your Labor

5:18 I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people: 25 

to eat and drink, 26  and find enjoyment in all their 27  hard work 28  on earth 29 

during the few days of their life which God has given them,

for this is their reward. 30 

5:19 To every man whom God has given wealth, and possessions,

he has also given him the ability 31 

to eat from them, to receive his reward and to find enjoyment in his toil;

these things 32  are the gift of God.

5:20 For he does not think 33  much about the fleeting 34  days of his life

because God keeps him preoccupied 35  with the joy he derives from his activity. 36 

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