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Ecclesiastes 10

The Folly of a Simpleminded Fool

Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little simpleminded folly is weightier than wisdom and honor.
2 A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left. 3 Even when the simpleminded fool walks along the road, his heart lacks wisdom, and he says to all that he is a simpleminded fool. 4 If the ruler’s temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because calmness causes great offenses to be abandoned. 5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like a mistake which goes forth from the one in power— 6 folly is set in many exalted places while rich men sit in humble places. 7 I have seen slaves riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the land. 8 He who digs a pit may fall into it, and a serpent may bite him who breaks through a wall. 9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits logs may be endangered by them. 10 If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success. 11 If the serpent bites before being charmed, there is no advantage for the charmer. 12 Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, but the lips of a fool swallow him up; 13 the beginning of the words of his mouth is simpleminded folly, and the end of what comes from his mouth is evil madness. 14 Yet the simpleminded fool multiplies words. No man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him? 15 The labor of a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city. 16 Woe to you, O land, whose king is a young man and whose princes eat in the morning. 17 Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time—for might and not for drinking. 18 Through indolence the beams sag, and through slack hands the house leaks. 19 Men prepare bread for laughter, and wine makes life glad, and money is the answer to everything. 20 Furthermore, in your bedchamber do not curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man, for a bird of the sky will bring the sound and the winged creature will tell the matter.