1
LIKE dead flies which make the container of precious ointment stink, so does a great folly outweigh wisdom and honor.
2
A wise man’s heart thinks rightly;
but a fool’s heart thinks wrongly.
3
Yea also, when the fool walks by the way, he lacks wisdom, and whatever he reasons is folly.
4
¶ If the temper of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your country;
because healing forgives many sins.
5
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, like an error which proceeds from before a ruler:
6
The fool is set in high and powerful places, and the rich shall sit in a low place.
7
I have seen servants riding upon horses, and princes walking like servants on the ground.
8
He who digs a pit shall fall into it;
and he who breaks a hedge will be bitten by a serpent.
9
He who removes landmarks shall suffer pain by them;
and he who cuts trees shall be wounded by them.
10
Just as the edge of a weapon may be blunt, and not sharpened, and yet may cause many to be slain, so wisdom is more advantageous to those who are diligent.
11
If the serpent bites without being charmed;
then in vain is a charmer.
12
¶ The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious;
but the lips of a fool will ruin him.
13
The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness;
and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
14
A fool multiplies words;
a man cannot tell what has been;
and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
15
The labor of fools wears them out because they do not know how to buy and sell in the city.
16
¶ Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes eat in the morning!
17
Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of a noble and your princes eat in due time, for strength and not for drunkenness!
18
By slothfulness a roof shall be brought down;
and through idleness of hands water drips through.
19
Bread and wine are made for joy, and oil makes life merry;
but money brings one low and causes him to go astray in all things.
20
Do not curse the king, no not even in your thought;
and do not curse the rich in your bedchamber;
for a bird of the air shall carry your voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.