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 make the oil of the perfumer give off a foul odor; so a little foolishness [in one who is esteemed] outweighs wisdom and honor.
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.
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 a fool walks along the road, his [common] sense and good judgment fail him and he demonstrates to everyone 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.
4 If your overseer gets angry at you, don't resign, because calmness pacifies great offenses.
4 If the temper of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post [showing resistance], because composure and calmness prevent 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 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, an error proceeding from the presence of 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 I have seen under the sun, like an error which proceeds from the ruler—
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 many exalted places and in great dignity while the rich sit in humble places.
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 riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the ground.
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.
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 The one who quarries stones may be hurt by them;the one who splits trees may be endangered by them.
9 Someone who quarries stone might be injured; someone splitting logs can fall into danger.
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 the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge,then one must exert more strength;however, the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success.
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 axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength; but wisdom [to sharpen the axe] helps him succeed [with less effort].
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 being charmed, then there is no profit for the charmer.
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 the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is folly,but the end of his speaking is evil madness.
13 He begins his speech with foolishness, and concludes it with evil 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?
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 Yet the fool multiplies words, though no man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after he is gone?
15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.
15 The struggles of fools weary them,for they don’t know 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 a fool so wearies him [because he is ignorant] that he does not even know how to go to a city.
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 and when your [incompetent] officials and princes feast 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!
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.
18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.
18 Because of laziness the roof caves in,and because of negligent hands the house leaks.
18 Through slothfulness the roof deteriorates, and a house leaks because of idleness.
18 Through laziness the rafters [of state affairs] decay and the roof sags, and through idleness [the roof of] the house leaks.
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 The officials make a feast for enjoyment [instead of repairing what is broken], and serve wine to make life merry, and money is the answer to everything.
20 Furthermore, (V)in your bedchamber do not (W)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.
Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.
International Standard Version Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation.
King James Version Public Domain
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