Ecclesiastes 10

English Standard Version

Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. (Ex 30:25) A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. (Ec 2:14) Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool. (Pr 13:16; Pr 18:2) If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness[1] will lay great offenses to rest. (1Sa 25:24; 1Sa 25:32; Pr 25:15; Ec 8:3) There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: (Ec 5:6) folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. (Es 3:1; Pr 28:12; Pr 29:2) I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves. (Es 6:8; Pr 19:10; Pr 30:22) He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. (Ps 7:15; Am 5:19) He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them. (De 19:5; 1Ch 22:2) 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 charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. (Jer 8:17) 12 The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor,[3] but the lips of a fool consume him. (Pr 10:32; Pr 18:7; Pr 22:11; Lu 4:22) 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness. 14 A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him? (Pr 15:2; Ec 3:22) 15 The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city. (Isa 35:8) 16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! (2Ch 13:7; Isa 3:4; Isa 3:12) 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 drunkenness! (Pr 31:4; Isa 5:11) 18 Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks. 19 Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything. (Ps 104:15; Ec 7:12) 20 Even 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. (Ex 22:28; 2Ki 6:12; Lu 12:3)