Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 5

Responsibilities towards poor people

Ecclesiastes 5:8-9

There are two types of workers:

(1) Some people must use their physical strength to work. They are often poor, and, of course, they must work hard. They include farm workers. By their efforts, they provide the food that everyone needs.

(2) The other group of people are those people who organise the work. In any society, their work is essential, too. Without good leaders, people struggle even to provide the food for their own families. Someone needs to deal with the difficulties that would stop the work.

In this second group are government officials, judges and even the king. If they are wise and careful, then wealth may come to the country. And everyone can benefit from that wealth.

But officials and rulers often use their opportunity to make wealth in a wrong manner. For example, they may force poor people to work too hard. They may pay wages that are too low. Or they may make decisions and judgements that are not right and proper.

They do such things because they want only to benefit themselves, and not other people.

God cares about all kinds of people, but he especially cares about poor people. He has made some people powerful so that they can look after poorer and weaker people. But when wealthy people use poor people for their own advantage, God is angry. Those cruel people will not avoid their punishment.

Next part: Love of money (Ecclesiastes 5:10-12)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.