Ecclesiastes 10
New American Standard Bible►► 

A Little Foolishness

1Dead flies turn a perfumer’s oil rancid, so a little foolishness is more [a]potent than wisdom and honor. 2A wise person’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish person’s heart directs him toward the left. 3Even when the fool walks along the road, his [b]sense is lacking, and he [c]demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool. 4If the ruler’s [d]temper rises against you, do not abandon your place, because composure puts great offenses to rest.

5There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like a mistake that proceeds from the ruler: 6foolishness is set in many exalted places while the rich sit in humble places. 7I have seen slaves riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.

8One who digs a pit may fall into it, and a serpent may bite one who breaks through a wall. 9One who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and one who splits logs may be endangered by them. 10If the [e]axe is dull and he does not sharpen its [f]edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of bringing success. 11If the serpent bites [g]before being charmed, there is no benefit for the charmer. 12Words from the mouth of a wise person are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him; 13the beginning of [h]his talking is foolishness, and the end of [i]it is evil insanity. 14Yet the fool multiplies words. No person knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him? 15The labor of [j]a fool makes him so weary that he does not even know how to go to a city. 16Woe to you, land whose king is a boy, and whose princes [k]feast in the morning. 17Blessed are you, land whose king is of nobility, and whose princes eat at the appropriate time—for strength and not for drunkenness. 18Through extreme laziness the rafters sag, and through idleness the house leaks. 19People prepare a meal for enjoyment, wine makes life joyful, and money [l]is the answer to everything. 20Furthermore, in your bedroom do not curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich person; for a bird of the sky will bring the sound, and the winged one will make your word known.

[a] 1 Lit costly
[b] 3 Lit heart
[c] 3 Lit says
[d] 4 Lit spirit
[e] 10 Lit iron
[f] 10 Lit faces
[g] 11 Lit with no incantation
[h] 13 Lit the words of his mouth
[i] 13 Lit his mouth
[j] 15 Lit fools make
[k] 16 Lit eat
[l] 19 Lit answers all

New American Standard Bible
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Ecclesiastes 9
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