NASB — Ecclesiastes 10 — KJV

A Little Foolishness

1 Dead flies make a aperfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom [and] honor. 2 A wise man’s heart [directs him] toward the right, but the foolish aman’s heart [directs him] toward the left. 3 Even when the fool walks along the road, his Isense is lacking and he IIademonstrates to everyone [that] he is a fool. 4 If the ruler’s Itemper rises against you, ado not abandon your position, because bcomposure allays great offenses.

[1] aEx 30:25
[2] aMt 6:33; Col 3:1
[3] ILit heart IILit says aPv 13:16; 18:2
[4] ILit spirit aEc 8:3 b1S 25:24-33; Pv 25:15

5 ¶ There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like an error which goes forth from the ruler6 afolly is set in many exalted places while rich men sit in humble places. 7 I have seen aslaves [riding] bon horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.

[6] aEs 3:1, 5f; Pv 28:12; 29:2
[7] aPv 19:10 bEs 6:8-10

8aHe who digs a pit may fall into it, and a bserpent 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 Iaxe is dull and he does not sharpen [its] edge, then he must IIexert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success. 11 If the serpent bites Iabefore being charmed, there is no profit for the charmer. 12 aWords from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a bfool consume him; 13 the beginning of Ihis talking is folly and the end of IIit is wicked amadness. 14 Yet the afool multiplies words. No man knows what will happen, and who can tell him bwhat will come after him? 15 The toil of Ia fool [so] wearies him that he does not [even] know how to go to a city. 16 Woe to you, O land, whose aking is a lad and whose princes Ifeast in the morning. 17 Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time—for strength and not for adrunkenness. 18 Through aindolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks. 19 [Men] prepare a meal for enjoyment, and awine makes life merry, and bmoney Iis the answer to everything. 20 Furthermore, ain your bedchamber do not bcurse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man, for a bird of the heavens will carry the sound and the winged creature will make the matter known.

[8] aPs 7:15; Pv 26:27 bAm 5:19
[10] ILit iron IILit strengthen
[11] ILit without enchantment aPs 58:4, 5; Jr 8:17
[12] aPv 10:32; 22:11; Lk 4:22 bPv 10:14; 18:7; Ec 4:5
[13] ILit the words of his mouth IILit his mouth aEc 7:25
[14] aPv 15:2; Ec 5:3 bEc 3:22; 6:12; 7:14; 8:7
[15] ILit fools
[16] ILit eat aIs 3:4, 12
[17] aPv 31:4; Is 5:11
[18] aPv 24:30-34
[19] ILit answers all aJg 9:13; Ps 104:15; Ec 2:3 bEc 7:12
[20] a2K 6:12; Lk 12:3 bEx 22:28; Ac 23:5


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Observations of wisdom and folly.

1 ¶ Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: [so doth] a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom [and] honour. 2 A wise man's heart [is] at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. 3 Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth [him], and he saith to every one [that] he [is] a fool. 4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences. 5 There is an evil [which] I have seen under the sun, as an error [which] proceedeth from the ruler: 6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth. 8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. 9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; [and] he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby. 10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom [is] profitable to direct. 11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth [are] gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth [is] foolishness: and the end of his talk [is] mischievous madness. 14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

[1] Ex 30:34; 2Ch 19:2; Ne 6:13; 13:26; Mt 5:13; Ga 2:12.
[2] Pv 14:8; 17:16; Ec 9:10; 10:10, 14; Lk 12:18; 14:28.
[3] Pv 13:16; 18:2, 6; Ec 5:3; 1P 4:4.
[4] 1S 25:24; Pv 25:15; Ec 8:3.
[5] Ec 3:16; 4:1, 7; 5:13; 6:1; 9:3.
[6] Jg 9:14; 1K 12:13; Es 3:1; Ps 12:8; Pv 28:12, 28; Jm 2:3.
[7] Pv 19:10; 30:22.
[8] Jg 9:5, 53; 2S 17:23; 18:15; Es 7:10; Ps 7:15; 9:15; Pv 26:27; Am 5:19; 9:3.
[10] Gn 41:33; Ex 18:19; 1K 3:9; 1Ch 12:32; 2Ch 23:4; Ec 9:15; 10:15; Mt 10:16; Ac 6:1; 15:2; Ro 16:19; 1Co 14:20; Ep 5:15; Col 4:5; Jm 1:5.
[11] Ps 52:2; 58:4; 64:3; Pv 18:21; Jr 8:17; Jm 3:6.
[12] 2S 1:16; 1K 20:40; Jb 4:3; 16:5; Ps 37:30; 40:9; 64:8; 71:15; 140:9; Pv 10:8, 10, 13, 14, 20, 31; 12:13, 18; 15:2, 23; 16:21; 18:6; 19:5; 22:17; 25:11; 26:9; 31:26; Mt 12:35; Lk 4:22; 19:22; Ep 4:29; Col 4:6.
[13] Jg 14:15; 1S 20:26; 22:7, 16; 25:10; 2S 19:41; 20:1; 2K 6:27, 31; Pv 29:9; Mt 2:7, 16; Lk 6:2, 11; 11:38, 53; Jn 12:10; Ac 5:28; 6:9; 7:54; 19:24.
[14] Jb 34:37; 35:16; Pv 10:19; 15:2; Ec 3:22; 5:3; 6:12; 8:7; Jm 4:13.
[15] Ps 107:4, 7; Ec 10:3, 10; Is 35:8; 44:12; 47:12; 55:2; 57:1; Jr 50:4; Hab 2:6; Mt 11:28.

Of riot,

16 ¶ Woe to thee, O land, when thy king [is] a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! 17 Blessed [art] thou, O land, when thy king [is] the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

[16] 2Ch 13:7; 33:1; 36:2, 5, 9, 11; Pv 20:1; Is 3:4, 12; 5:11; 28:7; Jr 21:12; Ho 7:5.
[17] Pv 28:2; 31:4; Ec 10:6; Jr 30:21.

slothfulness,

18 ¶ By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

[18] Pv 12:24; 14:1; 20:4; 21:25; 23:21; 24:30; He 6:11; 2P 1:5.

and money.

19 ¶ A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all [things].

[19] Gn 43:34; 1S 25:36; 2S 13:28; 1Ch 21:24; 29:2; 2Ch 24:11; Ezr 1:6; 7:15; Ne 5:8; Ps 104:15; 112:9; Ec 2:1; 7:2, 11; 9:7; Is 23:18; 24:11; Dn 5:1; Mt 17:27; 19:21; Lk 8:3; 12:19; 16:9; Ac 2:45; 11:29; Ep 5:18; Php 4:15; 1Ti 6:17; 1P 4:3.

Men's thoughts of kings ought to be reverent.

20 ¶ Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

[20] Ex 22:28; Ec 7:21; Is 8:21; Lk 10:40; 12:2; 19:40; Ac 23:5.


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