Ecclesiastes 10
Legacy Standard Bible►► 

The Folly of a Simpleminded Fool

1Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little simpleminded folly is weightier than wisdom and honor. 2A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left. 3Even when the simpleminded fool walks along the road, his heart lacks wisdom, and he says to all that he is a simpleminded fool. 4If the ruler’s [†]temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because calmness causes great offenses to be abandoned.

5There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like a mistake which goes forth from the one in power— 6[†]folly is set in many exalted places while rich men sit in humble places. 7I have seen slaves riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.

8He who digs a pit may fall into it, and a serpent may bite him who breaks through a wall. 9He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits logs may be endangered by them. 10If the [†]axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must [†]exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success. 11If the serpent bites [†]before being charmed, there is no advantage for the charmer. 12Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, but the lips of a fool swallow him up; 13the beginning of the words of his mouth is simpleminded folly, and the end of what comes from his mouth is evil madness. 14Yet the simpleminded fool multiplies words. No man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him? 15The labor of [†]a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city. 16Woe to you, O land, whose king is a young man and whose princes [†]eat in the morning. 17Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time—for might and not for drinking. 18Through indolence the beams sag, and through slack hands the house leaks. 19Men prepare bread for laughter, and wine makes life glad, and money [†]is the answer to everything. 20Furthermore, in your bedchamber do not curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man, for a bird of the sky will bring the sound and the winged creature will tell the matter.

4 Lit spirit
6 Or simpleminded folly, cf. Eccl 1:17; 2:3, 12, 13; 10:1, 13
10 Lit iron
10 Lit strengthen
11 Lit without enchantment
15 Lit fools
16 Or feast
19 Lit answers all

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Ecclesiastes 9
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