1 Dead flies, cause to stink and ferment, the oil of the perfumer, - More costly than wisdom or honour, is a little folly. 2 The sense of the wise, is on his right hand, - But, the sense of the dullard, on his left: 3 Yea, even by the way, as the foolish man walketh along, his sense faileth him - and he telleth everyone that, foolish, is he! 4 If, the spirit of a ruler, riseth up against thee, thy place, do not leave, for gentleness, pacifieth such as have greatly erred.
5 Here was a misfortune I had seen under the sun, - a veritable mistake that was going forth from the presence of one who had power:
6 Folly placed in great dignity, - while, the rich, in a low place, took their seat: 7 I had seen, servants, upon horses, - and, rulers, walking like servants, on the ground.
8 He that diggeth a pit, thereinto, may fall, - and, he that breaketh through a hedge, there may bite him a serpent. 9 He that removeth stones, may be hurt therewith, - and he that cleaveth wood, may be endangered thereby. 10 If, blunt, be the iron, and, himself, hath not sharpened, the edge, then, much force, must he apply, - but, an advantage for giving success, is wisdom. 11 If a serpent will bite, unless he is charmed, then there is nothing better for him that owneth a tongue. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth, are pleasant, - but, the lips of a dullard, will swallow him up: 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth, is folly, - but, the latter end of his speech, is mischievous madness. 14 Yet, a foolish man, multiplieth words, - though no man knoweth that which hath been, and, that which shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The toil of dullards, shall weary a man, that he knoweth not how to go into the city. 16 Alas! for thee, O land, when thy king is a boy, - and, thy rulers, in the morning, do eat: 17 How happy art thou, O land, when thy king is a son of nobles, - and, thy rulers, in season, do eat, for strength, and not for debauchery. 18 By two lazy arms, the framework sinketh in, - and, by the hanging down of the hands, the house may leak. 19 Merrily people make bread, and, wine, gladdeneth life, - but, money, answereth all things. 20 Even in thy thought, do not revile, the king, nor, within thy bed-chambers, revile thou the rich, - for, a bird of the heavens, might carry the voice, yea, an owner of wings, might tell the matter.