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Ecclesiastes 10 (The Message)

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1 Dead flies in perfume make it stink, And a little foolishness decomposes much wisdom. 2 Wise thinking leads to right living; Stupid thinking leads to wrong living. 3 Fools on the road have no sense of direction. The way they walk tells the story: "There goes the fool again!" 4 If a ruler loses his temper against you, don't panic; A calm disposition quiets intemperate rage. 5 Here's a piece of bad business I've seen on this earth, An error that can be blamed on whoever is in charge: 6 Immaturity is given a place of prominence, While maturity is made to take a back seat. 7 I've seen unproven upstarts riding in style, While experienced veterans are put out to pasture. 8 Caution: The trap you set might catch you. Warning: Your accomplice in crime might double-cross you. 9 Safety first: Quarrying stones is dangerous. Be alert: Felling trees is hazardous. 10 Remember: The duller the ax the harder the work; Use your head: The more brains, the less muscle. 11 If the snake bites before it's been charmed, What's the point in then sending for the charmer? 12 The words of a wise person are gracious. The talk of a fool self-destructs - 13 He starts out talking nonsense And ends up spouting insanity and evil. 14 Fools talk way too much, Chattering stuff they know nothing about. 15 A decent day's work so fatigues fools That they can't find their way back to town. 16 Unlucky the land whose king is a young pup, And whose princes party all night. 17 Lucky the land whose king is mature, Where the princes behave themselves And don't drink themselves silly. 18 A shiftless man lives in a tumbledown shack; A lazy woman ends up with a leaky roof. 19 Laughter and bread go together, And wine gives sparkle to life - But it's money that makes the world go around. 20 Don't bad-mouth your leaders, not even under your breath, And don't abuse your betters, even in the privacy of your home. Loose talk has a way of getting picked up and spread around. Little birds drop the crumbs of your gossip far and wide.
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