Complete Jewish Bible
10 Just as dead flies make perfumed oil stink,
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2 A wise man’s heart leads him rightly,
but a fool’s heart leads him astray;
3 and when a fool travels, he has no good sense,
thus showing everyone that he is a fool.
4 If a ruler gets angry at you, stay at your post,
because calmness soothes great offenses.
5 Another evil I have seen under the sun,
the kind of mistake rulers make, is that
6 fools are promoted to high positions,
while the rich occupy humble places.
7 I have seen servants riding horses,
while princes walk on foot like slaves.
8 He who digs a pit may fall into it;
he who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9 He who quarries stones may get hurt by them,
he who chops wood puts himself in danger.
10 If the [hatchet’s] iron [blade] is blunt,
and [its user] doesn’t sharpen it,
he will have to exert more effort;
but the expert has the advantage of his skill.
11 If a snake bites before it is charmed,
the snake-charmer has no advantage.
12 The words spoken by the wise bring them favor,
but the lips of a fool swallow him up.
13 What he says starts with foolishness
and ends with wicked madness.
14 A fool keeps talking and talking,
yet no one knows what the future will bring —
can anyone tell a person
what will happen after he’s gone?
15 The efforts of a fool wear him out;
he doesn’t even know the way to town!
16 Woe to you, land, when your king is a child,
and your leaders start their parties in the morning!
17 Happy are you, land, when your king is well-born,
and your princes eat at the proper time,
in order to stay strong, not to get drunk!
18 When the owner is lazy, the roof sags;
when hands are idle, the house leaks.
19 Parties are made for having a good time,
wine adds cheer to life,
and money has an answer for everything.
20 Don’t insult the king, not even in your thoughts;
and don’t insult the wealthy, not even in your bedroom;
for a bird in the air might carry the news,
a creature with wings might repeat what you said.