1Dead flies can make even perfume stink.
In the same way, a little foolishness can spoil wisdom.
2The heart of the wise leads to right,
but the heart of a fool leads to wrong.
3Even in the way fools walk along the road,
they show they are not wise;
they show everyone how stupid they are.
4Don’t leave your job
just because your boss is angry with you.
Remaining calm solves great problems.
5There is something else wrong that happens here on earth.
It is the kind of mistake rulers make:
6Fools are given important positions
while gifted people are given lower ones;
7I have seen servants ride horses
while princes walk like servants on foot.
8Anyone who digs a pit might fall into it;
anyone who knocks down a wall might be bitten by a snake;
9anyone who moves boulders might be hurt by them;
and anyone who cuts logs might be harmed by them.
10A dull ax means
Being wise will make it easier.
11If a snake bites the tamer before it is tamed,
what good is the tamer?
12The words of the wise bring them praise,
but the words of a fool will destroy them.
13A fool begins by saying foolish things
and ends by saying crazy and wicked things.
14A fool talks too much.
No one knows the future,
and no one can tell what will happen after death.
15Work wears fools out;
they don’t even know how to get home.
The Value of Work
16How terrible it is for a country whose king is a child
and whose leaders eat all morning.
17How lucky a country is whose king comes from a good family,
whose leaders eat only at mealtime
and for strength, not to get drunk.
18If someone is lazy, the roof will begin to fall.
If he doesn’t fix it, the house will leak.
19A party makes you feel good,
wine makes you feel happy,
and money buys anything.
20Don’t make fun of the king,
and don’t make fun of rich people, even in your bedroom.
A little bird might carry your words;
a bird might fly and tell what you said.