Ecclesiastes 10
International Standard VersionNew Living Translation
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 cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor.
2A wise man's heart tends toward his right, but a fool's heart tends toward his left.2A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.
3Furthermore, the way a fool lives shows he has no sense; he proclaims to everyone that he's a fool.3You can identify fools just by the way they walk down the street!
4If your overseer gets angry at you, don't resign, because calmness pacifies great offenses.4If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes. The Ironies of Life
5Here's another tragedy that I've observed on earth, a kind of error that comes from an overseer:5There is another evil I have seen under the sun. Kings and rulers make a grave mistake
6Foolishness is given great honor, while the prosperous sit in lowly places. 6when they give great authority to foolish people and low positions to people of proven worth.
7And I have observed servants riding on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.7I have even seen servants riding horseback like princes—and princes walking like servants!
8Whoever digs a pit may fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall may suffer a snake bite.8When you dig a well, you might fall in. When you demolish an old wall, you could be bitten by a snake.
9Someone who quarries stone might be injured; someone splitting logs can fall into danger.9When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you. When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax.
10If someone's ax is blunt—the edge isn't sharpened— then more strength will be needed. Putting wisdom to work will bring success.10Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.
11If a serpent strikes despite being charmed, there's no point in being a snake charmer.11If a snake bites before you charm it, what’s the use of being a snake charmer?
12The words spoken by the wise are gracious, but the lips of a fool will devour him.12Wise words bring approval, but fools are destroyed by their own words.
13He begins his speech with foolishness, and concludes it with evil madness.13Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their conclusions will be 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?14they chatter on and on. No one really knows what is going to happen; no one can predict the future.
15The work of a fool so wears him out that he can't even find his way to town.15Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they can’t even find their way home.
16Woe to the land whose king is a youth and whose princes feast in the morning.16What sorrow for the land ruled by a servant, the land whose leaders 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.17Happy is the land whose king is a noble leader and whose leaders feast at the proper time to gain strength for their work, not to get drunk.
18Through slothfulness the roof deteriorates, and a house leaks because of idleness.18Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house.
19Festivals are for laughter, wine makes life pleasant, and money speaks to everything.19A party gives laughter, wine gives happiness, and money gives 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.20Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts. And don’t make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said.
The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1 Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Ecclesiastes 9
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