Ecclesiastes 10
New Living TranslationEnglish Standard Version
1As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor.1Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.2A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.
3You can identify fools just by the way they walk down the street!3Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool.
4If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes. The Ironies of Life4If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.
5There is another evil I have seen under the sun. Kings and rulers make a grave mistake5There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler:
6when they give great authority to foolish people and low positions to people of proven worth.6folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place.
7I have even seen servants riding horseback like princes—and princes walking like servants!7I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.
8When you dig a well, you might fall in. When you demolish an old wall, you could be bitten by a snake.8He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.
9When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you. When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax.9He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them.
10Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.10If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.
11If a snake bites before you charm it, what’s the use of being a snake charmer?11If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer.
12Wise words bring approval, but fools are destroyed by their own words.12The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.
13Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their conclusions will be wicked madness;13The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness.
14they chatter on and on. No one really knows what is going to happen; no one can predict the future.14A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him?
15Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they can’t even find their way home.15The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city.
16What sorrow for the land ruled by a servant, the land whose leaders feast in the morning.16Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!
17Happy is the land whose king is a noble leader and whose leaders feast at the proper time to gain strength for their work, not to get drunk.17Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house.18Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks.
19A party gives laughter, wine gives happiness, and money gives everything!19Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything.
20Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts. And don’t make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said.20Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.ESV Text Edition: 2016. The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.
Ecclesiastes 9
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