Ecclesiastes 10
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1As dead flies cause the perfumer's ointment to stink, so also does a little foolishness to one's reputation of wisdom and honor.1As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, 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.2The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.
3Furthermore, the way a fool lives shows he has no sense; he proclaims to everyone that he's a fool.3Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are.
4If your overseer gets angry at you, don't resign, because calmness pacifies great offenses.4If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay 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, the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
6Foolishness is given great honor, while the prosperous sit in lowly places. 6Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones.
7And I have observed servants riding on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.7I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.
8Whoever digs a pit may fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall may suffer a snake bite.8Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9Someone who quarries stone might be injured; someone splitting logs can fall into danger.9Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever 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 its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.
11If a serpent strikes despite being charmed, there's no point in being a snake charmer.11If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.
12The words spoken by the wise are gracious, but the lips of a fool will devour him.12Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.
13He begins his speech with foolishness, and concludes it with evil madness.13At the beginning their words are folly; at the end they are 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?14and fools multiply words. No one knows what is coming-- who can tell someone else what will happen after them?
15The work of a fool so wears him out that he can't even find his way to town.15The toil of fools wearies them; they do not know the way to town.
16Woe to the land whose king is a youth and whose princes feast in the morning.16Woe to the land whose king was a servant 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 is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time-- for strength and not for drunkenness.
18Through slothfulness the roof deteriorates, and a house leaks because of idleness.18Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.
19Festivals are for laughter, wine makes life pleasant, and money speaks to everything.19A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, 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 revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
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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