10 Dead flies can make even ·perfume [L a perfumer’s oil] stink. In the same way, a little foolishness ·can spoil [L outweighs] wisdom and ·honor [glory]. 2 The heart of the wise ·leads [goes] to ·right [L the right], but the heart of a fool ·leads [goes] to ·wrong [L the left]. 3 Even in the way fools walk along the road, they ·show they are not wise [lack sense]; they show everyone how ·stupid [foolish] they are [Prov. 12:23; 13:16]. 4 Don’t leave your job just because your ·boss [ruler; leader] is angry with you. ·Remaining calm [Gentleness] ·solves [appeases] great ·problems [offenses].
5 There is something else ·wrong [evil] that happens ·here on earth [L under the sun; 1:3]. It is the kind of ·mistake [error] rulers make: 6 Fools are ·given [placed in] important positions while ·gifted [L wealthy] people ·are given [L sit in] lower ones; 7 I have seen servants ride horses while princes walk like servants on ·foot [L on the ground/earth]. 8 Anyone who digs a pit might fall into it [Ps. 7:15; Prov. 26:27]; anyone who ·knocks down [breeches] a wall might be bitten by a snake; 9 anyone who ·moves [quarries] boulders might be ·hurt [injured] by them; and anyone who ·cuts logs [splits trees] might be ·harmed [endangered] by them. 10 ·A dull ax means harder work [L If the ax is blunt and the edge is not sharp, then he must increase his efforts]. ·Being wise will make it easier [L The advantage of wisdom is success]. 11 If a snake bites the ·tamer [charmer] before it is ·tamed [charmed], what good is the ·tamer [charmer]?
12 The words of the wise bring them ·praise [or favor], but the words of a fool will ·destroy [L swallow] them. 13 A fool begins by saying foolish things and ends by saying crazy and wicked things. 14 A fool ·talks too much [L multiplies words]. No one knows ·the future [L what will happen], and ·no one [who…?] can tell what will happen after ·death [L him]. 15 ·Work [Toil] wears fools out; they don’t even know how to get ·home [L to the city].
The Value of Work
16 ·How terrible it is for a [L Woe to you, O] country whose king is ·a child [or immature] and whose leaders ·eat all [or feast in the] morning [Is. 5:11–12; 21:5]. 17 ·How lucky a [L Blessed are you, O] country whose king ·comes from a good family [L is a noble], whose leaders eat ·only at mealtime [L at the appropriate time] and for strength, not to get drunk.
18 If someone is lazy, the roof will begin to ·fall [sag]. If he ·doesn’t fix it [L lowers his hands], the house will leak [Prov. 6:6; 26:16].
19 A ·party [feast] makes you ·feel good [laugh], wine makes you feel ·happy [merry], and money ·buys anything [L answers everything].
20 Don’t ·make fun of [or curse] the king even in your thoughts, and don’t ·make fun of [curse] rich people, even in your bedroom. A little bird might carry your words; a ·bird might fly and [winged creature might] tell what you said.
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