1 0 Dead flies cause the perfumer’s shemen to send forth a foul odor; so doth a little sichlut outweigh chochmah and kavod.
2 A chacham’s lev is at his yamin (right hand); but a kesil’s lev is at his semol (left hand).
3 Yea also, when he that is a kesil even walketh along the derech, his sense faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a kesil.
4 If the ruach of the moshel rise up against thee, leave not thy mekom; for calmness pacifieth chata’im gedolim.
5 There is a ra’ah which I have seen under the shemesh, the sort of error which proceedeth from a shalit (ruler);
6 Sekhel (folly) is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.
7 I have seen avadim (servants) upon susim, and sarim (princes) walking as avadim upon ha’aretz.
8 He that diggeth a gumatz (pit) shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh through a wall, a nachash shall bite him.
9 Whoso pulleth out avanim (stones) may be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood may be endangered thereby.
10 If the barzel (iron [of the axe]) be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must more strength be marshalled; but chochmah brings success.
11 If the nachash will bite before it is charmed, there is no use in a charmer.
12 The words of a chacham’s mouth are chen (gracious); but the lips of a kesil will swallow up himself.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is sichlut; and the end of his talk is holelot ra’ah.
14 A kesil also is full of devarim; haAdam has no da’as of what shall be, and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
15 The amal of the kesilim wearieth him, because he has no da’as of how to go to town.
16 Woe to thee, O eretz, when thy melech is a na’ar, and thy sarim (princes) feast in the boker!
17 Blessed art thou, O eretz, when thy melech is a nobleman, and thy sarim (princes) eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18 By much atzlut (slothfulness) the rafters falleth; and through idleness of the hands the bais leaketh.
19 Lechem is made for laughter, and yayin maketh merry; but kesef answereth everything.
20 Curse not the Melech, no not in thy thought; and curse not the oisher in thy bedchamber; for an Oph haShomayim may carry the voice, and that which hath wings may report what you say.