1 As dead flies cause the perfumer's ointment to stink and ferment; so a little folly is more rare than wisdom and than honor. 2 A man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. 3 Yes also, in the way a fool walks, his heart fails; and he says to all that he is a fool. 4 If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, do not leave your place; for yielding quiets great sinners.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like a sin which comes from a ruler's presence;
6 foolishness is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. 7 I have seen servants on horses and princes walking as servants on the earth.
8 He who digs a pit shall fall into it; and whoever breaks a hedge, a snake shall bite him. 9 Whoever removes stones shall be hurt with them. He who splits wood shall be endangered by it. 10 If the iron is blunt, and he does not whet the edge, then he must put more strength to it. But wisdom is profitable to direct. 11 Surely the snake will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. 12 The words of a wise mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow him. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness; and the end of his talk is wicked madness. 14 A fool also makes many words; a man knows not what they shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The labor of fools wearies him, because he does not know how to go to the city. 16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child and your leaders eat in the morning. 17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your leaders eat in due time, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 By slothfulness the building decays; and through lowering of the hands the house leaks. 19 Bread is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but silver answers all things. 20 Do not curse a king, no, not in your thought; and do not curse the rich in your bedroom; for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.