Day 421

The Chronological Cross-Reference Bible Study Reading Plan

Day 421

The Chronological Cross-Reference Bible Study Reading Plan

English Standard Version (ESV)


Ecclesiastes 4:1-5:7

4:1 Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

13 Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice. 14 For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor. 15 I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to stand in the king's place. 16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

5:1  Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words.

When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.


King James Version (KJV)


Ecclesiastes 4:1-5:7

4:1So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. 4:2Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. 4:3Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 4:4Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit. 4:5The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh. 4:6Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. 4:7Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. 4:8There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. 4:9Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 4:10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 4:11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 4:12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 4:13Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. 4:14For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor. 4:15I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead. 4:16There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

5:1Keep 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.5:2Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.5:3For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.5:4When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.5:5Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.5:6Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?5:7For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.


Study Journal Questions
  1. Why is family valuable?
  2. Why are two better than one, and how do you partner with others?
  3. How do you listen to God, and why is it important?
  4. How can a vow lead you to sin?
Together Challenge

Lift someone up who has fallen down.

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