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Ecclesiastes Chapter 10 - New American Standard Bible

1. DEAD flies make a perfumer'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 man's heart directs him toward the left.

3. Even when the fool walks along the road, his [2] sense is lacking and he [1] demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool.

4. If the ruler's [3] temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.

5. There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like an error which goes forth from the ruler --

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 [5] axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must [4] exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.

11. If the serpent bites [6] before being charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.

12. Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him;

13. the beginning of [8] his talking is folly and the end of [7] it is wicked madness.

14. Yet the fool multiplies words. No man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him?

15. The toil of [9] 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 lad and whose princes [10] feast 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 drunkenness.

18. Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks.

19. Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money [11] 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 heavens will carry the sound and the winged creature will make the matter known.

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Footnotes
  • 1: Lit answers all
  • 2: Lit in, within
  • 3: Lit is
  • 4: Or with many mss how the spirit enters the bones in the womb
  • 5: Lit full
  • 6: Lit let down your hand
  • 7: Lit this or that
  • 8: Lit ways
  • 9: Lit sights
  • 10: Lit evil
  • 11: Or holes

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    Read this passage from the New American Standard Bible
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