Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 – A Caution Against Rash Vows


Ecclesiastes 5:1-7


Speaking rashly to or before God is a hallmark of fools.


Ecclesiastes is fond of several tropes from Wisdom literature (e.g., the book of Proverbs), and perhaps chief among them is the importance of “frugal speech” (to borrow a phrase from Emily Dickinson). To put it colloquially, the Teacher is not a fan of folks who run their mouths. In this passage, that concern is couched in a cultic (i.e., religious) context: worship at the Jerusalem Temple, including making vows before God. It will come up again at 10:12-15, this time in a more everyday context.