1 Dead flies make a perfumer's oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.
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.
1 As dead flies cause the perfumer's ointment to stink, so also does a little foolishness to one's reputation of wisdom and honor.
1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the perfumer to putrefy [and] send forth a vile odor; so does a little folly [in him who is valued for wisdom] outweigh 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.
2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.
2 A wise man's heart tends toward his right, but a fool's heart tends toward his left.
2 A wise man's heart turns him toward his right hand, but a fool's heart toward his left.
3 Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool.
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.
3 Furthermore, the way a fool lives shows he has no sense; he proclaims to everyone that he's a fool.
3 Even when he who is a fool walks along the road, his heart and understanding fail him, and he says of everyone and to everyone that he is a fool.
4 If the ruler's temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.
4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.
4 If your overseer gets angry at you, don't resign, because calmness pacifies great offenses.
4 If the temper of the ruler rises up against you, do not leave your place [or show a resisting spirit]; for gentleness and calmness prevent or put a stop to great offenses.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like an error which goes forth from the ruler--
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:
5 Here's another tragedy that I've observed on earth, a kind of error that comes from an overseer:
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, like an error which proceeds from the ruler:
6 folly is set in many exalted places while rich men sit in humble places.
6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.
6 Foolishness is given great honor, while the prosperous sit in lowly places.
6 Folly is set in great dignity and in high places, and the rich sit in low places.
7 I have seen slaves riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.
7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
7 And I have observed servants riding on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.
7 I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking like slaves on the earth.
8 He who digs a pit may fall into it, and a serpent may bite him who breaks through a wall.
8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall may suffer a snake bite.
8 He who digs a pit [for others] will fall into it, and whoever breaks through a fence or a [stone] wall, a serpent will bite him.
9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits logs may be endangered by them.
9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.
9 Someone who quarries stone might be injured; someone splitting logs can fall into danger.
9 Whoever removes [landmark] stones or hews out [new ones with similar intent] will be hurt with them, and he who fells trees will 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.
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.
10 If someone's ax is blunt the edge isn't sharpened then more strength will be needed. Putting wisdom to work will bring success.
10 If the ax is dull and the man does not whet the edge, he must put forth more strength; but wisdom helps him to succeed.
11 If the serpent bites before being charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.
11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
11 If a serpent strikes despite being charmed, there's no point in being a snake charmer.
11 If the serpent bites before it is charmed, then it is no use to call a charmer [and the slanderer is no better than the uncharmed snake].
12 Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him;
12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
12 The words spoken by the wise are gracious, but the lips of a fool will devour him.
12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious and win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.
13 the beginning of his talking is folly and the end of it is wicked madness.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
13 He begins his speech with foolishness, and concludes it with evil madness.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk 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?
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?
14 The fool overflows with words, and no one can predict what will happen. As to what will happen after him, who can explain it?
14 A fool also multiplies words, though no man can tell what will be -- "and what will happen after he is gone, who can tell him?
15 The toil of a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city.
15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.
15 The work of a fool so wears him out that he can't even find his way to town.
15 The labor of fools wearies every one of them, because [he is so ignorant of the ordinary matters that] he does not even know how to get to town.
16 Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad and whose princes feast in the morning.
16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!
16 Woe to the land whose king is a youth and whose princes feast in the morning.
16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child or a servant and when your officials 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.
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!
17 That land is blessed whose king is of noble birth, whose princes feast at the right time, for strength, and not to become drunk.
17 Happy (fortunate and to be envied) are you, O land, when your king is a free man and of noble birth and character and when your officials feast at the proper time -- "for strength and not for drunkenness!
18 Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks.
18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.
18 Through slothfulness the roof deteriorates, and a house leaks because of idleness.
18 Through indolence the rafters [of state affairs] decay and the roof sinks in, and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.
19 Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything.
19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
19 Festivals are for laughter, wine makes life pleasant, and money speaks to everything.
19 [Instead of repairing the breaches, the officials] make a feast for laughter, serve wine to cheer life, and [depend on tax] money to answer for all of it.
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.
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 Do not curse the king, even in your thoughts. Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom. For a bird will fly by and tell what you say, or something with wings may talk about it.
20 Curse not the king, no, not even in your thoughts, and curse not the rich in your bedchamber, for a bird of the air will carry the voice, and a winged creature will tell the matter.
International Standard Version Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation.
New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org