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Ecclesiastes 10 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 Just as dead flies make perfumed oil stink, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man's heart leads him rightly, but a fool's heart leads him astray; 3 and when a fool travels, he has no good sense, thus showing everyone that he is a fool. 4 If a ruler gets angry at you, stay at your post, because calmness soothes great offenses. 5 Another evil I have seen under the sun, the kind of mistake rulers make, is that 6 fools are promoted to high positions, while the rich occupy humble places. 7 I have seen servants riding horses, while princes walk on foot like slaves. 8 He who digs a pit may fall into it; he who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. 9 He who quarries stones may get hurt by them, he who chops wood puts himself in danger. 10 If the [hatchet's] iron [blade] is blunt, and [its user] doesn't sharpen it, he will have to exert more effort; but the expert has the advantage of his skill. 11 If a snake bites before it is charmed, the snake-charmer has no advantage. 12 The words spoken by the wise bring them favor, but the lips of a fool swallow him up. 13 What he says starts with foolishness and ends with wicked madness. 14 A fool keeps talking and talking, yet no one knows what the future will bring -can anyone tell a person what will happen after he's gone? 15 The efforts of a fool wear him out; he doesn't even know the way to town! 16 Woe to you, land, when your king is a child, and your leaders start their parties in the morning! 17 Happy are you, land, when your king is well-born, and your princes eat at the proper time, in order to stay strong, not to get drunk! 18 When the owner is lazy, the roof sags; when hands are idle, the house leaks. 19 Parties are made for having a good time, wine adds cheer to life, and money has an answer for everything. 20 Don't insult the king, not even in your thoughts; and don't insult the wealthy, not even in your bedroom; for a bird in the air might carry the news, a creature with wings might repeat what you said.
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