Ecclesiastes 10 ESV/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 1 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2 A wise man's heart inclines him to the right, but a fool's heart to the left. 2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.
3 Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool. 3 Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is.
4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest. 4 If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great errors to rest.
5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: 5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
6 folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. 6 Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones.
7 I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves. 7 I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.
8 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. 8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9 He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them. 9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be 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. 10 If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success.
11 If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. 11 If a snake bites before it is charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.
12 The words of a wise man's mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him. 12 Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness. 13 At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness--
14 A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him? 14 and the fool multiplies words. No one knows what is coming-- who can tell him what will happen after him?
15 The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city. 15 A fool's work wearies him; he does not know the way to town.
16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! 16 Woe to you, O land whose king was a servant and whose 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 drunkenness! 17 Blessed are you, O land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time-- for strength and not for drunkenness.
18 Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks. 18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.
19 Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything.
20 Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter. 20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.