Ecclesiastes 10
International Standard VersionChristian Standard Bible
1As dead flies cause the perfumer's ointment to stink, so also does a little foolishness to one's reputation of wisdom and honor.1Dead flies make a perfumer's oil ferment and stink; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2A wise man's heart tends toward his right, but a fool's heart tends toward his left.2A wise person's heart goes to the right, but a fool's heart to the left.
3Furthermore, the way a fool lives shows he has no sense; he proclaims to everyone that he's a fool.3Even when the fool walks along the road, his heart lacks sense, and he shows everyone he is a fool.
4If your overseer gets angry at you, don't resign, because calmness pacifies great offenses.4If the ruler's anger rises against you, don't leave your post, for calmness puts great offenses to rest.
5Here's another tragedy that I've observed on earth, a kind of error that comes from an overseer:5There is an evil I have seen under the sun, an error proceeding from the presence of the ruler:
6Foolishness is given great honor, while the prosperous sit in lowly places. 6The fool is appointed to great heights, but the rich remain in lowly positions.
7And I have observed servants riding on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.7I have seen slaves on horses, but princes walking on the ground like slaves.
8Whoever digs a pit may fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall may suffer a snake bite.8The one who digs a pit may fall into it, and the one who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9Someone who quarries stone might be injured; someone splitting logs can fall into danger.9The one who quarries stones may be hurt by them; the one who splits logs may be endangered by them.
10If someone's ax is blunt—the edge isn't sharpened— then more strength will be needed. Putting wisdom to work will bring success.10If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge, then one must exert more strength; however, the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success.
11If a serpent strikes despite being charmed, there's no point in being a snake charmer.11If the snake bites before it is charmed, then there is no advantage for the charmer.
12The words spoken by the wise are gracious, but the lips of a fool will devour him.12The words from the mouth of a wise person are gracious, but the lips of a fool consume him.
13He begins his speech with foolishness, and concludes it with evil madness.13The beginning of the words from his mouth is folly, but the end of his speaking is evil madness;
14The fool overflows with words, and no one can predict what will happen. As to what will happen after him, who can explain it?14yet the fool multiplies words. No one knows what will happen, and who can tell anyone what will happen after him?
15The work of a fool so wears him out that he can't even find his way to town.15The struggles of fools weary them, for they don't know how to go to the city.
16Woe to the land whose king is a youth and whose princes feast in the morning.16Woe to you, land, when your king is a youth and your princes feast in the morning.
17That land is blessed whose king is of noble birth, whose princes feast at the right time, for strength, and not to become drunk.17Blessed are you, land, when your king is a son of nobles and your princes feast at the proper time--for strength and not for drunkenness.
18Through slothfulness the roof deteriorates, and a house leaks because of idleness.18Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of negligent hands the house leaks.
19Festivals are for laughter, wine makes life pleasant, and money speaks to everything.19A feast is prepared for laughter, and wine makes life happy, and money is the answer for everything.
20Do not curse the king, even in your thoughts. Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom. For a bird will fly by and tell what you say, or something with wings may talk about it.20Do not curse the king even in your thoughts, and do not curse a rich person even in your bedroom, for a bird of the sky may carry the message, and a winged creature may report the matter.
The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission.
Ecclesiastes 9
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