Ecclesiastes 10
Wycliffe's Bible
1Flies that die (in it), lose the sweetness of [the] ointment. A little folly at some time is more precious than wisdom and glory. (Flies that die in an ointment can destroy its sweetness. And so a little foolishness can sometimes destroy wisdom and glory.) 2The heart of a wise man is in his right side; and the heart of a fool is in his left side. (The heart of a wise person is in the right; and the heart of a fool is in the wrong.) 3But also a fool going in the way, when he is unwise, guesseth all men fools. (And a fool, going on the way, since he is unwise, thinketh that all the other people be fools.) 4If the spirit of him, that hath power, goeth upon thee, forsake thou not thy place (If the spirit of him, who hath power, goeth against thee, do not leave thy position, that is, do not resign thy post); for curing, or taking heed, shall make (the) greatest sins to cease.

5An evil there is, that I saw under the sun, and going out as by error from the face of the prince; (There is an evil that I saw under the sun, and going out as an error from the leader, or from the ruler;) 6a fool (is) set in high dignity, and rich men sit beneath. 7I saw servants on horses, and princes as servants going on the earth. (I saw servants riding on horses, and princes, or leaders, walking on the ground like servants.)

8He that diggeth a ditch, shall fall into it; and an adder shall bite him, that destroyeth a hedge. (He who diggeth a ditch, shall fall into it; and he who destroyeth a hedge, shall be bitten by a serpent hiding in it.) 9He that beareth over stones, shall be tormented in those; and he that cutteth trees, shall be wounded of those. (He who carrieth stones, can be hurt by them; and he who cutteth wood, can be injured when cutting it.) 10If iron is folded again, and it is not as before, but is made blunt, it shall be made sharp with much travail; and wisdom shall follow after busyness. 11If a serpent biteth, it biteth in silence; he that backbiteth privily, hath nothing less than it (he who privately, or secretly, backbiteth someone is no better). 12The words of the mouth of a wise man be grace; and the lips of an unwise man shall cast him down. (The words out of the mouth of a wise person bring him favour; but the lips of an unwise person shall bring him down.) 13The beginning of his words is folly; and the last thing of his mouth is the worst error. (His words begin with foolishness; and the last thing out of his mouth is the worst error of all.) 14A fool multiplieth words; a man knoweth not, what was before him, and who may show to him that, that shall come after him? (and who can show him what shall come after him?) 15The travail of fools shall torment them, that know not how to go into the city. (Fools work themselves to exhaustion, yet they do not even know how to go into the city.) 16Land, woe to thee, whose king is a child, and whose princes eat early. 17Blessed is the land, whose king is noble; and whose princes eat in their time, to (only) sustain the(ir) kind, and not to lechery. (Happy is the land, whose king is well born, or refined; and whose leaders eat at the proper time, only to sustain themselves, and not unto drunkenness.) 18The highness of houses shall be made low in sloths; and the house shall drop (rain) in the feebleness of hands (and a house shall leak due to feeble, or weak, hands). 19In laughing, they dispose bread and wine, that they drinking eat largely; and all things obey to money. (With laughter, they array the table with bread and wine, so that they can enjoy all the abundance; for everything showeth obedience to money.) 20In thy thought backbite thou not the king, and in the private of thy bed, curse thou not a rich man; for the birds of heaven shall bear thy voice, and he that hath pens, shall tell the sentence. (In thy thoughts backbite thou not the king, and in the privacy of thy bed, curse thou not the rich; for the birds of the heavens, or of the air, shall carry thy voice, and he that hath wings, shall tell what thou hast said.)


Comprising of
Wycliffe’s Old Testament


Wycliffe’s New Testament
(Revised Edition)

Translated by


A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
the first complete English vernacular version,
with an Introduction by


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Ecclesiastes 9
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