Ecclesiastes Chapter 10 |
1Dead flies turn the perfumer’s ointment fetid and putrid; so a little folly outweighs massive wisdom.
2A wise man’s mind tends toward the right hand, a fool’s toward the left. 3A fool’s mind is also wanting when he travels, and he lets everybody know he is a fool.
4If the wrath of a lord flares up against you, don’t give up your post; for when wrath abates, grave offenses are pardoned.
5Here is an evil I have seen under the sun as great as an error committed by a ruler: 6Folly was placed on lofty heights, while rich men sat in low estate. 7I have seen slaves on horseback, and nobles walking on the ground like slaves.
8He who digs a pit will fall into it; he who breaches a stone fence will be bitten by a snake. 9He who quarries stones will be hurt by them; he who splits wood will be harmed by it. 10If the ax has become dull and he has not whetted the edge, he must exert more strength. Thus the advantage of a skill [depends on the exercise of] prudence. 11If the snake bites because no spell was uttered, no advantage is gained by the trained charmer.
12A wise man’s talk brings him favor, but a fool’s lips are his undoing.
13His talk begins as silliness and ends as disastrous madness.
14Yet the fool talks and talks!
A man cannot know what will happen; who can tell him what the future holds?
15A fool’s exertions tire him out, for he doesn’t know how to get to a town.
16Alas for you, O land whose king is a lackey and whose ministers dine in the morning! 17Happy are you, O land whose king is a master and whose ministers dine at the proper time—with restraint, not with guzzling!
18Through slothfulness the ceiling sags,
Through lazy hands the house caves in.
19They make a banquet for revelry; wine makes life merry, and money answers every need.
20Don’t revile a king even among your intimates.
Don’t revile a rich man even in your bedchamber;
For a bird of the air may carry the utterance,
And a winged creature may report the word.