1As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.2The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.3Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are.4If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest.5There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler:6Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones.7I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.8Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.9Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.10If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.11If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.12Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.13At the beginning their words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness—14and fools multiply words. No one knows what is coming— who can tell someone else what will happen after them?15The toil of fools wearies them; they do not know the way to town.16Woe to the land whose king was a servant and whose princes feast in the morning.17Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time— for strength and not for drunkenness.18Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.19A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything.20Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
English Standard Version
1Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. (Ex 30:25)2A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. (Ec 2:14)3Even 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)4If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest. (1Sa 25:24; 1Sa 25:32; Pr 25:15; Ec 8:3)5There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: (Ec 5:6)6folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. (Es 3:1; Pr 28:12; Pr 29:2)7I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves. (Es 6:8; Pr 19:10; Pr 30:22)8He 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)9He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them. (De 19:5; 1Ch 22:2)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 serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. (Jer 8:17)12The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him. (Pr 10:32; Pr 18:7; Pr 22:11; Lu 4:22)13The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness.14A 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)15The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city. (Isa 35:8)16Woe 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)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! (Pr 31:4; Isa 5:11)18Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks.19Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything. (Ps 104:15; Ec 7:12)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. (Ex 22:28; 2Ki 6:12; Lu 12:3)