Ecclesiastes 10
NET BibleEnglish Standard Version
1One dead fly makes the perfumer's ointment give off a rancid stench, so a little folly can outweigh much wisdom. 1Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2A wise person's good sense protects him, but a fool's lack of sense leaves him vulnerable. 2A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.
3Even when a fool walks along the road he lacks sense, and shows everyone what a fool he is. 3Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool.
4If the anger of the ruler flares up against you, do not resign from your position, for a calm response can undo great offenses. 4If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.
5I have seen another misfortune on the earth: It is an error a ruler makes. 5There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler:
6Fools are placed in many positions of authority, while wealthy men sit in lowly positions. 6folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place.
7I have seen slaves on horseback and princes walking on foot like slaves. 7I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.
8One who digs a pit may fall into it, and one who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. 8He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.
9One who quarries stones may be injured by them; one who splits logs may be endangered by them. 9He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them.
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. 10If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.
11If the snake should bite before it is charmed, the snake charmer is in trouble. 11If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer.
12The words of a wise person win him favor, but the words of a fool are self-destructive. 12The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.
13At the beginning his words are foolish and at the end his talk is wicked madness, 13The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness.
14yet a fool keeps on babbling. No one knows what will happen; who can tell him what will happen in the future? 14A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him?
15The toil of a stupid fool wears him out, because he does not even know the way to the city. 15The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city.
16Woe to you, O land, when your king is childish, and your princes feast in the morning! 16Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!
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. 17Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of idle hands the house leaks. 18Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks.
19Feasts are made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything. 19Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything.
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. 20Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter.
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Ecclesiastes 9
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