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ESV — Ecclesiastes 10

10  Dead flies make gthe perfumer's ointment give off a stench;

so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.

hA wise man's heart inclines him to the right,

but a fool's heart to the left.

Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense,

and he isays to everyone that he is a fool.

If the anger of the ruler rises against you, jdo not leave your place,

kfor calmness1 will lay great offenses to rest.

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were lan error proceeding from the ruler: mfolly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. nI have seen slaves oon horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.

He who pdigs a pit will fall into it,

and qa serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.

rHe who quarries stones is hurt by them,

and he who ssplits logs is endangered by them.

10  If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,

he must use more strength,

but wisdom helps one to succeed.2

11  If the serpent bites before it is tcharmed,

there is no advantage to the charmer.

12  The words of a wise man's mouth uwin him favor,3

but vthe lips of a fool consume him.

13  The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness,

and the end of his talk is evil madness.

14  wA fool multiplies words,

though no man knows what is to be,

and who can tell him xwhat will be after him?

15  The toil of a fool wearies him,

for he does not know ythe way to the city.

16  zWoe to you, O land, when your king is a child,

and your princes feast in the morning!

17  Happy 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 adrunkenness!

18  Through sloth the roof sinks in,

and through indolence the house leaks.

19  Bread is made for laughter,

and bwine gladdens life,

and cmoney answers everything.

20  Even in your thoughts, ddo not curse the king,

nor in your ebedroom curse the rich,

for a bird of the air will carry your voice,

or some winged creature tell the matter.

Footnotes

[1] 10:4 Hebrew healing
[2] 10:10 Or wisdom is an advantage for success
[3] 10:12 Or are gracious