Add parallel Print Page Options

Wisdom and Folly

10 Dead[a] flies [b]putrefy the perfumer’s ointment,
And cause it to give off a foul odor;
So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.
A wise man’s heart is at his right hand,
But a fool’s heart at his left.
Even when a fool walks along the way,
He lacks wisdom,
(A)And he shows everyone that he is a fool.
If the spirit of the ruler rises against you,
(B)Do not leave your post;
For (C)conciliation[c] pacifies great offenses.

There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
As an error proceeding from the ruler:
(D)Folly is set in [d]great dignity,
While the rich sit in a lowly place.
I have seen servants (E)on horses,
While princes walk on the ground like servants.

(F)He who digs a pit will fall into it,
And whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.
He who quarries stones may be hurt by them,
And he who splits wood may be endangered by it.
10 If the ax is dull,
And one does not sharpen the edge,
Then he must use more strength;
But wisdom [e]brings success.

11 A serpent may bite (G)when it is not charmed;
The [f]babbler is no different.
12 (H)The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious,
But (I)the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;
13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness,
And the end of his talk is raving madness.
14 (J)A fool also multiplies words.
No man knows what is to be;
Who can tell him (K)what will be after him?
15 The labor of fools wearies them,
For they do not even know how to go to the city!

16 (L)Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child,
And your princes feast in the morning!
17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles,
And your (M)princes feast at the proper time—
For strength and not for drunkenness!
18 Because of laziness the [g]building decays,
And (N)through idleness of hands the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter,
And (O)wine makes merry;
But money answers everything.

20 (P)Do not curse the king, even in your thought;
Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom;
For a bird of the air may carry your voice,
And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

Footnotes

  1. Ecclesiastes 10:1 Lit. Flies of death
  2. Ecclesiastes 10:1 Tg., Vg. omit putrefy
  3. Ecclesiastes 10:4 Lit. healing, health
  4. Ecclesiastes 10:6 exalted positions
  5. Ecclesiastes 10:10 Lit. is a successful advantage
  6. Ecclesiastes 10:11 Lit. master of the tongue
  7. Ecclesiastes 10:18 Lit. rafters sink

Bible Gateway Recommends

NKJV Comfort Print Ancient-Modern Bible, Hardcover
NKJV Comfort Print Ancient-Modern Bible, Hardcover
Retail: $49.99
Our Price: $31.99
Save: $18.00 (36%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
NKJV Comfort Print Full Color Study Bible, Hardcover
NKJV Comfort Print Full Color Study Bible, Hardcover
Retail: $49.99
Our Price: $31.99
Save: $18.00 (36%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
The NKJV Woman's Study Bible, Hardcover, Full Color
The NKJV Woman's Study Bible, Hardcover, Full Color
Retail: $49.99
Our Price: $29.49
Save: $20.50 (41%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
NKJV Comfort Print Open Bible, Hardcover
NKJV Comfort Print Open Bible, Hardcover
Retail: $29.99
Our Price: $19.99
Save: $10.00 (33%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars

Bible Gateway Sponsors