Ecclesiastes 10
International Standard VersionNew American Standard Bible 1995
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 stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.
2A wise man's heart tends toward his right, but a fool's heart tends toward his left.2A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him toward 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 sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool.
4If your overseer gets angry at you, don't resign, because calmness pacifies great offenses.4If the ruler's temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.
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, like an error which goes forth from the ruler--
6Foolishness is given great honor, while the prosperous sit in lowly places. 6folly is set in many exalted places while rich men sit in humble places.
7And I have observed servants riding on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.7I have seen slaves riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.
8Whoever digs a pit may fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall may suffer a snake bite.8He who digs a pit may fall into it, and a serpent may bite him who breaks through a wall.
9Someone who quarries stone might be injured; someone splitting logs can fall into danger.9He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he 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 axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.
11If a serpent strikes despite being charmed, there's no point in being a snake charmer.11If the serpent bites before being charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.
12The words spoken by the wise are gracious, but the lips of a fool will devour him.12Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him;
13He begins his speech with foolishness, and concludes it with evil madness.13the beginning of his talking is folly and the end of it is wicked 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 man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him?
15The work of a fool so wears him out that he can't even find his way to town.15The toil of a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city.
16Woe to the land whose king is a youth and whose princes feast in the morning.16Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad and whose 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, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time-- for strength and not for drunkenness.
18Through slothfulness the roof deteriorates, and a house leaks because of idleness.18Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks.
19Festivals are for laughter, wine makes life pleasant, and money speaks to everything.19Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to 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.20Furthermore, in your bedchamber do not curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man, for a bird of the heavens will carry the sound and the winged creature will make the matter known.
The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit //
Ecclesiastes 9
Top of Page
Top of Page