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Ecclesiastes 10 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Dead flies in perfume make it stink, And a little foolishness decomposes much wisdom. 1 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2 Wise thinking leads to right living; Stupid thinking leads to wrong living. 2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.
3 Fools on the road have no sense of direction. The way they walk tells the story: "There goes the fool again!" 3 Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is.
4 If a ruler loses his temper against you, don't panic; A calm disposition quiets intemperate rage. 4 If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great errors to rest.
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: 5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
6 Immaturity is given a place of prominence, While maturity is made to take a back seat. 6 Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones.
7 I've seen unproven upstarts riding in style, While experienced veterans are put out to pasture. 7 I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.
8 Caution: The trap you set might catch you. Warning: Your accomplice in crime might double-cross you. 8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9 Safety first: Quarrying stones is dangerous. Be alert: Felling trees is hazardous. 9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
10 Remember: The duller the ax the harder the work; Use your head: The more brains, the less muscle. 10 If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success.
11 If the snake bites before it's been charmed, What's the point in then sending for the charmer? 11 If a snake bites before it is charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.
12 The words of a wise person are gracious. The talk of a fool self-destructs - 12 Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips.
13 He starts out talking nonsense And ends up spouting insanity and evil. 13 At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness--
14 Fools talk way too much, Chattering stuff they know nothing about. 14 and the fool multiplies words. No one knows what is coming-- who can tell him what will happen after him?
15 A decent day's work so fatigues fools That they can't find their way back to town. 15 A fool's work wearies him; he does not know the way to town.
16 Unlucky the land whose king is a young pup, And whose princes party all night. 16 Woe to you, O land whose king was a servant and whose princes feast in the morning.
17 Lucky the land whose king is mature, Where the princes behave themselves And don't drink themselves silly. 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 A shiftless man lives in a tumbledown shack; A lazy woman ends up with a leaky roof. 18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.
19 Laughter and bread go together, And wine gives sparkle to life - But it's money that makes the world go around. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything.
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. 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.