Ecclesiastes 10
International Standard VersionNET 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.1One dead fly makes the perfumer's ointment give off a rancid stench, so a little folly can outweigh much wisdom.
2A wise man's heart tends toward his right, but a fool's heart tends toward his left.2A wise person's good sense protects him, but a fool's lack of sense leaves him vulnerable.
3Furthermore, the way a fool lives shows he has no sense; he proclaims to everyone that he's a fool.3Even when a fool walks along the road he lacks sense, and shows everyone what a fool he is.
4If your overseer gets angry at you, don't resign, because calmness pacifies great offenses.4If the anger of the ruler flares up against you, do not resign from your position, for a calm response can undo great offenses.
5Here's another tragedy that I've observed on earth, a kind of error that comes from an overseer:5I have seen another misfortune on the earth: It is an error a ruler makes.
6Foolishness is given great honor, while the prosperous sit in lowly places. 6Fools are placed in many positions of authority, while wealthy men sit in lowly positions.
7And I have observed servants riding on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.7I have seen slaves on horseback and princes walking on foot like slaves.
8Whoever digs a pit may fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall may suffer a snake bite.8One who digs a pit may fall into it, and 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.9One who quarries stones may be injured by them; 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 an iron axhead is blunt and a workman does not sharpen its edge, he must exert a great deal of effort; so 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 snake should bite before it is charmed, the snake charmer is in trouble.
12The words spoken by the wise are gracious, but the lips of a fool will devour him.12The words of a wise person win him favor, but the words of a fool are self-destructive.
13He begins his speech with foolishness, and concludes it with evil madness.13At the beginning his words are foolish and at the end his talk 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 a fool keeps on babbling. No one knows what will happen; who can tell him what will happen in the future?
15The work of a fool so wears him out that he can't even find his way to town.15The toil of a stupid fool wears him out, because he does not even know the way to the city.
16Woe to the land whose king is a youth and whose princes feast in the morning.16Woe to you, O land, when your king is childish, 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, O land, when your king is the son of nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time--with self-control and not in drunkenness.
18Through slothfulness the roof deteriorates, and a house leaks because of idleness.18Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of idle hands the house leaks.
19Festivals are for laughter, wine makes life pleasant, and money speaks to everything.19Feasts are made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but 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 a king even in your thoughts, and do not curse the rich while in your bedroom; for a bird might report what you are thinking, or some winged creature might repeat your words.
The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
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Ecclesiastes 9
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