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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Ecclesiastes 5:4-8

Four things we are exhorted to in these verses:? I. To be conscientious in paying our vows. 1. A vow is a bond upon the soul (Num. 30:2), by which we solemnly oblige ourselves, not only, in general, to do that which we are already bound to do, but, in some particular instances, to do that to do which we were not under any antecedent obligation, whether it respects honouring God or serving the interests of his kingdom among men. When, under the sense of some affliction (Ps. 66:14), or in the... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Ecclesiastes 5:6

Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin ,.... That is, himself, who is corrupt and depraved; either by making a rash vow, which it is not in his power to keep; or such is the corruption of his nature, and the weakness of the flesh, that he cannot keep it; or by making sinful excuses after he has made the vow, and so is guilty of lying, or false swearing, or other sins of the flesh. Jarchi by "flesh" understands his children, on whom his iniquity may be visited and punished; and the... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Ecclesiastes 5:6

Neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error - Nor think of saying "before the cruel angel, who shall exercise authority over thee in the judgment of the great day, that thou didst it through ignorance." - Chaldee. I believe by the angel nothing else is intended than the priest, whose business it was to take cognizance of vows and offerings. See Leviticus 5:4 , Leviticus 5:5 . In Malachi 2:7 , the priest is called the "angel of the Lord of hosts." read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Section 6. Man's outward and secular life being unable to secure happiness and satisfaction, can these be found in popular religion? Religious exercises need the observation of strict rules, which are far from meeting with general attention. Koheleth proceeds to give instruction, in the form of maxims, concerning public worship, prayer, and vows. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Ecclesiastes 5:6

Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin . "Thy flesh" is equivalent to "thyself," the whole personality, the idea of the flesh, as a distinct part of the man, sinning, being alien from Old Testament ontology. The injunction means—Do not, by uttering rash or inconsiderate vows, which you afterwards evade or cannot fulfill, bring sin upon yourself, or, as others render, bring punishment upon yourself. Septuagint, "Suffer not thy mouth to Cause thy flesh to sin ( τοῦ ὠξαμαρτῆσαι τὴν... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Ecclesiastes 5:6

Suffer not thy mouth ... - i. e., Do not make rash vows which may hereafter be the cause of evasion and prevarication, and remain unfulfilled.Before the angel - The Septuagint and some other versions render “before the face of God,” meaning a spiritual being representing the presence of God, a minister of divine justice Exodus 23:21, such a one as inflicted judgment upon David 2 Samuel 24:17. Others, with less probability, understand the angel to be a priest, and refer to Malachi 2:7. read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Ecclesiastes 5:6

Ecclesiastes 5:6 . Suffer not thy mouth By any rash vow, or in any other way; to cause thy flesh to sin That is, thyself: the word flesh being often put for the whole man; neither say thou before the angel That is, as some interpret the expression, before the blessed angels, (the singular number being put for the plural,) who are present in the public assemblies, in which these vows were generally paid, (Psalms 66:13,) where they observe men’s religious performances, (1 Corinthians... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

5:1-10:20 MAKE THE MOST OF LIFE’S FRUSTRATIONSAdvice about religion (5:1-7)Among the many affairs of everyday life that the writer deals with is the matter of religious practices. First he warns that the offering of sacrifices is useless if the worshippers have no desire to listen to God’s word or obey it (5:1). Those thinking of making vows must consider their vows carefully before telling them to God. Too many words may lead to foolish vows, just as too much work can produce bad dreams... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - Ecclesiastes 5:6

to cause, &c. : by vows made concerning the flesh, such as eating and drinking, marrying, &c. angel = messenger. Compare Malachi 2:7 . error. Hebrew. shagag. App-44 . wherefore . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6 . voice. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6 , for the vain words uttered by it; referring to Ecclesiastes 5:1 . destroy = confiscate. work. Aramaean, Septuagint, and Vulg, read "works" (plural) read more

Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - Ecclesiastes 5:6

Ecclesiastes 5:6. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin, &c.— Let not thy mouth weakly excuse thee to no purpose, and do not say before the messenger [who is sent to require from thee what thou hast vowed] it was a mistake. Solomon advises any man who has made a vow to accomplish it, and not to look for excuses and pretences in order to avoid paying that debt. The motive he suggests to support this advice, viz. that the non-payment might be the means of kindling God's wrath against... read more

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