Young's Literal Translation
Wisdom and Folly
1Dead flies cause a perfumer’s perfume To send forth a stink; The precious by reason of wisdom — By reason of honour — a little folly! 2The heart of the wise [is] at his right hand, And the heart of a fool at his left. 3And also, when he that is a fool Is walking in the way, his heart is lacking, And he hath said to every one, ‘He [is] a fool.’ 4If the spirit of the ruler go up against thee, Thy place leave not, For yielding quieteth great sinners.
5There is an evil I have seen under the sun, As an error that goeth out from the ruler, 6He hath set the fool in many high places, And the rich in a low place do sit. 7I have seen servants on horses, And princes walking as servants on the earth.
8Whoso is digging a pit falleth into it, And whoso is breaking a hedge, a serpent biteth him. 9Whoso is removing stones is grieved by them, Whoso is cleaving trees endangered by them. 10If the iron hath been blunt, And he the face hath not sharpened, Then doth he increase strength, And wisdom [is] advantageous to make right. 11If the serpent biteth without enchantment, Then there is no advantage to a master of the tongue. 12Words of the mouth of the wise [are] gracious, And the lips of a fool swallow him up. 13The beginning of the words of his mouth [is] folly, And the latter end of his mouth [Is] mischievous madness. 14And the fool multiplieth words: ‘Man knoweth not that which is, And that which is after him, who doth declare to him?’ 15The labour of the foolish wearieth him, In that he hath not known to go unto the city. 16Wo to thee, O land, when thy king [is] a youth, And thy princes do eat in the morning. 17Happy art thou, O land, When thy king [is] a son of freemen, And thy princes do eat in due season, For might, and not for drunkenness. 18By slothfulness is the wall brought low, And by idleness of the hands doth the house drop. 19For mirth they are making a feast, And wine maketh life joyful, And the silver answereth with all. 20Even in thy mind a king revile not, And in the inner parts of thy bed-chamber Revile not the rich: For a fowl of the heavens causeth the voice to go, And a possessor of wings declareth the word.