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Miscellaneous Observations

10 Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a foul odor;[a]
    so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
    but the heart of a fool to the left.
Even when fools walk on the road, they lack sense
    and show to everyone that they are fools.(A)
If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post,
    for calmness will undo great offenses.(B)

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as great an error as if it proceeded from the ruler: folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place.(C) I have seen slaves on horseback and princes walking on the ground like slaves.

Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
    and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a snake.(D)
Whoever quarries stones will be hurt by them,
    and whoever splits logs will be endangered by them.
10 If the iron is blunt and one does not whet the edge,
    then more strength must be exerted,
    but wisdom helps one to succeed.
11 If the snake bites before it is charmed,
    there is no advantage in a charmer.(E)

12 Words spoken by the wise bring them favor,
    but the lips of fools consume them.(F)
13 The words of their mouths begin in foolishness,
    and their talk ends in wicked madness,(G)
14 yet fools talk on and on.
    No one knows what is to happen,
    and who can tell anyone what the future holds?(H)
15 The toil of fools wears them out,
    for they do not even know the way to town.

16 Alas for you, O land, when your king is a child
    and your princes feast in the morning!(I)
17 Happy are you, O land, when your king is a nobleman,
    and your princes feast at the proper time—
    for strength and not for drunkenness!(J)
18 Through sloth the roof sinks in,
    and through indolence the house leaks.(K)
19 Feasts are made for laughter,
    wine gladdens life,
    and money meets every need.(L)
20 Do not curse the king, even in your thoughts,
    or curse the rich, even in your bedroom,
for a bird of the air may carry your voice,
    or some winged creature tell the matter.(M)

The Value of Diligence

11 Send out your bread upon the waters,
    for after many days you will get it back.(N)
Divide your means seven ways, or even eight,
    for you do not know what disaster may happen on earth.(O)
When clouds are full,
    they empty rain on the earth;
whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
Whoever observes the wind will not sow,
    and whoever regards the clouds will not reap.

Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything.(P)

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.(Q)

Youth and Old Age

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.(R)

Even those who live many years should rejoice in them all, yet let them remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.(S)

Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.(T)

10 Banish anxiety from your mind, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.(U)

12 Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return with[b] the rain; in the day when the guards of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the women who grind cease working because they are few, and those who look through the windows see dimly; when the doors on the street are shut, and the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low;(V) when one is afraid of heights, and terrors are in the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,[c] and the caper bud falls; because all must go to their eternal home, and the mourners will go about the streets;(W) before the silver cord is snapped,[d] and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath[e] returns to God who gave it.(X) Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher; all is vanity.


Besides being wise, the Teacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs.(Y) 10 The Teacher sought to find pleasing words, and he wrote words of truth plainly.(Z)

11 The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd.[f](AA) 12 Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of everyone.(AB) 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including[g] every secret thing, whether good or evil.(AC)


  1. 10.1 Gk Vg Syr: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. 12.2 Or after
  3. 12.5 Or is a burden
  4. 12.6 Syr Vg Compare Gk: Heb is removed
  5. 12.7 Or the spirit
  6. 12.11 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. 12.14 Or into the judgment on


Paul an apostle—sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers and sisters with me,

To the churches of Galatia:(A)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,(B) to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

There Is No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.(C) But even if we or an angel[a] from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed!(D) As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!

10 Am I now seeking human approval or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.(E)

Paul’s Vindication of His Apostleship

11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin,(F) 12 for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

13 You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it.(G) 14 I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.(H) 15 But when the one[b] who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace was pleased(I) 16 to reveal his Son to me,[c] so that I might proclaim him among the gentiles, I did not confer with any human,(J) 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterward I returned to Damascus.

18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days,(K) 19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother.(L) 20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia,(M) 22 and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ;(N) 23 they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.


  1. 1.8 Or a messenger
  2. 1.15 Other ancient authorities read God
  3. 1.16 Gk in me