Ecclesiastes 10:1-11:6New International Version (NIV)
10 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. 3 Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are. 4 If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler: 6 Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones. 7 I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.
8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. 9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
10 If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.
11 If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.
12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips. 13 At the beginning their words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness— 14 and fools multiply words.
No one knows what is coming— who can tell someone else what will happen after them?
15 The toil of fools wearies them; they do not know the way to town.
16 Woe to the land whose king was a servant[a] and whose princes feast in the morning. 17 Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time— for strength and not for drunkenness.
18 Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything.
20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
Invest in Many Ventures
11 Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. 2 Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
3 If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie. 4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed[b] in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
6 Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.
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