1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth an offensive odor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart is at his left. 3 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. 4 If the spirit of the ruler riseth against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offenses.
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:
6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoever breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him. 9 Whoever removeth stones shall be hurt by them; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered by it. 10 If the iron is blunt, and he doth not whet the edge, then must he use more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. 11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous 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? 15 The labor of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city. 16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat 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! 18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things. 20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bed-chamber: for a bird of the air will carry the voice, and that which hath wings will tell the matter.