Ecclesiastes, CHAPTER 10
Dead flies corrupt and spoil the perfumer’s oil;
more weighty than wisdom or wealth is a little folly!
The wise heart turns to the right;
the foolish heart to the left.
Even when walking in the street the fool, lacking understanding, calls everyone a fool.
Should the anger of a ruler burst upon you, do not yield your place; for calmness abates great offenses.
I have seen under the sun another evil, like a mistake that proceeds from a tyrant:
a fool put in high position, while the great and the rich sit in lowly places.
I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes went on foot like slaves.
Whoever digs a pit may fall into it,
and whoever breaks through a wall, a snake may bite.
Whoever quarries stones may be hurt by them,
and whoever chops wood is in danger from it.
If the ax becomes dull, and the blade is not sharpened, then effort must be increased. But the advantage of wisdom is success.
If the snake bites before it is charmed,
then there is no advantage in a charmer.
Words from the mouth of the wise win favor,
but the lips of fools consume them.
The beginning of their words is folly,
and the end of their talk is utter madness;
yet fools multiply words.
No one knows what is to come,
for who can tell anyone what will be?
The toil of fools wearies them,
so they do not know even the way to town.
NO ONE KNOWS WHAT EVIL WILL COME
Woe to you, O land, whose king is a youth,
and whose princes feast in the morning!
Happy are you, O land, whose king is of noble birth,
and whose princes dine at the right time―
for vigor and not in drinking bouts.
Because of laziness, the rafters sag;
when hands are slack, the house leaks.
A feast is made for merriment
and wine gives joy to the living,
but money answers for everything.
Even in your thoughts do not curse the king,
nor in the privacy of your bedroom curse the rich;
For the birds of the air may carry your voice,
a winged creature may tell what you say.