1 Dead flies cause the oil of the perfumer to send forth an evil odor, [so] a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart at his left. 3 Yea also, when the fool walks by the way, his understanding fails him, and he says to everyone [that] he is a fool. 4 If the spirit of the ruler rises up against thee, leave not thy place, for deference allays great offences.
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as it were an error which proceeds from the ruler:
6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and rulers walking like servants upon the earth.
8 He who digs a pit shall fall into it, and he who breaks through a wall, a serpent shall bite him. 9 He who hews out stones shall be hurt therewith, [and] he who splits wood is endangered thereby. 10 If the iron be blunt, and he does not whet the edge, then he must increase strength. But wisdom is advantageous to make right. 11 If the serpent bites before it is charmed, then is there no advantage in the charmer. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool will swallow himself up. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. 14 A fool also multiplies words; [yet] man knows not what shall be, and that which shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The labor of fools wearies every one of them, for he knows not how to go to the city. 16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy rulers feast in the morning! 17 Happy are thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy rulers feast in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 By slothfulness the roof sinks in, and through idleness of the hands the house leaks. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes glad the life, and money answers all things. 20 Revile not the king, no, not in thy thought, and revile not the rich in thy bedchamber. For a bird of the heavens shall carry the voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.