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Ecclesiastes 10 (English Standard Version)

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1 Dead flies make 1the perfumer's ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 2A wise man's heart inclines him to the right, but a fool's heart to the left. 3 Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he 3says to everyone that he is a fool. 4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, 4do not leave your place, 5for calmnessa will lay great offenses to rest. 5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were 6an error proceeding from the ruler: 6 7folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. 7 8I have seen slaves 9on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves. 8 He who 10digs a pit will fall into it, and 11a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. 9 12He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who 13splits logs is endangered by them. 10 If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.b 11 If the serpent bites before it is 14charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth 15win him favor,c but 16the lips of a fool consume him. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness. 14 17A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him 18what will be after him? 15 The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know 19the way to the city. 16 20Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! 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 21drunkenness! 18 Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks. 19 Bread is made for laughter, and 22wine gladdens life, and 23money answers everything. 20 Even in your thoughts, 24do not curse the king, nor in your 25bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter.
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