Ecclesiastes 10 GNT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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Good News Translation (GNT) New International Version (NIV)
1 Dead flies can make a whole bottle of perfume stink, and a little stupidity can cancel out the greatest wisdom. 1 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2 It is natural for the wise to do the right thing and for fools to do the wrong thing. 2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.
3 Their stupidity will be evident even to strangers they meet along the way; they let everyone know that they are fools. 3 Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is.
4 If your ruler becomes angry with you, do not hand in your resignation; serious wrongs may be pardoned if you keep calm. 4 If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great errors to rest.
5 Here is an injustice I have seen in the world - an injustice caused by rulers. 5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
6 Stupid people are given positions of authority while the rich are ignored. 6 Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones.
7 I have seen slaves on horseback while noblemen go on foot like slaves. 7 I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.
8 If you dig a pit, you fall in it; if you break through a wall, a snake bites you. 8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9 If you work in a stone quarry, you get hurt by stones. If you split wood, you get hurt doing it. 9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
10 If your ax is dull and you don't sharpen it, you have to work harder to use it. It is smarter to plan ahead. 10 If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success.
11 Knowing how to charm a snake is of no use if you let the snake bite first. 11 If a snake bites before it is charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.
12 What the wise say brings them honor, but fools are destroyed by their own words. 12 Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips.
13 They start out with silly talk and end up with pure madness. 13 At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness--
14 A fool talks on and on. No one knows what is going to happen next, and no one can tell us what will happen after we die. 14 and the fool multiplies words. No one knows what is coming-- who can tell him what will happen after him?
15 Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work. 15 A fool's work wearies him; he does not know the way to town.
16 A country is in trouble when its king is a youth and its leaders feast all night long. 16 Woe to you, O land whose king was a servant and whose princes feast in the morning.
17 But a country is fortunate to have a king who makes his own decisions and leaders who eat at the proper time, who control themselves and don't get drunk. 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 When you are too lazy to repair your roof, it will leak, and the house will fall in. 18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.
19 Feasting makes you happy and wine cheers you up, but you can't have either without money. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything.
20 Don't criticize the king, even silently, and don't criticize the rich, even in the privacy of your bedroom. A bird might carry the message and tell them what you said. 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.