The Burden of Folly
1Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil ferment and stink;#Ex 30:25
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2A wise person’s heart goes to the#10:2 Lit his right,
but a fool’s heart to the left.
3Even when the fool walks along the road, his heart lacks sense,
and he shows everyone he is a fool.#Pr 13:16; 18:2
4If the ruler’s anger rises against you, don’t leave your post,#Ec 8:3
for calmness puts great offenses to rest.#1Sm 25:24-33; Pr 25:15
5There is an evil I have seen under the sun, an error proceeding from the presence of the ruler:
6The fool is appointed to great heights,#Est 3:1; Pr 28:12; 29:2
but the rich remain in lowly positions.
7I have seen slaves on horses,#Pr 19:10
but princes walking on the ground like slaves.#Est 6:8-10
8The one who digs a pit may fall into it,#Ps 7:15
and the one who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.#Am 5:19
9The one who quarries stones may be hurt by them;
the one who splits logs may be endangered by them.
10If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge,
then one must exert more strength;
however, the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success.
11If the snake bites before it is charmed,#Jr 8:17
then there is no advantage for the charmer.#10:11 Lit master of the tongue
12The words from the mouth of a wise person are gracious,#Pr 10:32; 22:11; Lk 4:22
but the lips of a fool consume him.#Pr 18:7
13The beginning of the words from his mouth is folly,
but the end of his speaking is evil madness;
14yet the fool multiplies words.
No one knows what will happen,
and who can tell anyone what will happen after him?#Ec 8:7,17
15The struggles of fools weary them,
for they don’t know how to go to the city.
16Woe to you, land, when your king is a youth#Pr 30:21-22; Is 3:4,12
and your princes feast in the morning.
17Blessed are you, land, when your king is a son of nobles
and your princes feast at the proper time —
for strength and not for drunkenness.#Pr 31:4; Is 5:11
18Because of laziness the roof caves in,
and because of negligent hands the house leaks.
19A feast is prepared for laughter,
and wine makes life happy,#Ps 104:15
and money#10:19 Lit silver is the answer for everything.#Ec 7:12
20Do not curse the king even in your thoughts,#Ex 22:28
and do not curse a rich person even in your bedroom,#2Kg 6:12; Lk 12:3
for a bird of the sky may carry the message,
and a winged creature may report the matter.