GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Dead flies will make a bottle of perfume stink, and then it is spoiled. A little foolishness outweighs wisdom [and] honor. 2A wise person's heart leads the right way. The heart of a fool leads the wrong way. 3Even when a fool goes walking, he has no sense and shows everyone else that he's a fool. 4If a ruler becomes angry with you, don't resign your position. If you remain calm, you can make up for serious offenses.
5There is a tragedy that I've seen under the sun, an error often made by rulers. 6Foolish people are often given high positions, and rich people are left to fill lower positions. 7I have seen slaves sitting on horses and influential people going on foot like slaves.
8Whoever digs a pit may fall into it. Whoever breaks through a stone wall may be bitten by a snake. 9Whoever works in a stone quarry may get hurt. Whoever splits wood may be injured. 10If an ax is blunt and the edge isn't sharpened, then one has to use more strength. But wisdom prepares the way for success. 11If a snake bites before it has been charmed, then there is no advantage in being a snake charmer. 12A wise person's words win favors, but a fool's lips are self-destructive. 13A fool starts out by talking foolishness and ends up saying crazy things that are dangerous. 14He never stops talking. No one knows what the future will bring, or what will happen after [death]. Who can say! 15Fools wear themselves out with hard work, because they don't even know the way to town. 16How horrible it will be for any country where the king used to be a servant and where the high officials throw parties in the morning. 17A country is blessed when the king is from a noble family and when the high officials eat at the right time in order to get strength and not to get drunk. 18A roof sags because of laziness. A house leaks because of idle hands. 19A meal is made for laughter, and wine makes life pleasant, but money is the answer for everything. 20Don't curse the king even in your thoughts, and don't curse rich people even in your bedroom. A bird may carry your words, or some winged creature may repeat what you say.