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Ecclesiastes 10

1 Dead flies will make a bottle of perfume stink, and then it is spoiled. A little foolishness outweighs wisdom [and] honor. 2 A wise person's heart leads the right way. The heart of a fool leads the wrong way. 3 Even when a fool goes walking, he has no sense and shows everyone else that he's a fool. 4 If a ruler becomes angry with you, don't resign your position. If you remain calm, you can make up for serious offenses.

5 There is a tragedy that I've seen under the sun, an error often made by rulers. 6 Foolish people are often given high positions, and rich people are left to fill lower positions. 7 I have seen slaves sitting on horses and influential people going on foot like slaves.

8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it. Whoever breaks through a stone wall may be bitten by a snake. 9 Whoever works in a stone quarry may get hurt. Whoever splits wood may be injured. 10 If an ax is blunt and the edge isn't sharpened, then one has to use more strength. But wisdom prepares the way for success. 11 If a snake bites before it has been charmed, then there is no advantage in being a snake charmer. 12 A wise person's words win favors, but a fool's lips are self-destructive. 13 A fool starts out by talking foolishness and ends up saying crazy things that are dangerous. 14 He never stops talking. No one knows what the future will bring, or what will happen after [death]. Who can say! 15 Fools wear themselves out with hard work, because they don't even know the way to town. 16 How horrible it will be for any country where the king used to be a servant and where the high officials throw parties in the morning. 17 A country is blessed when the king is from a noble family and when the high officials eat at the right time in order to get strength and not to get drunk. 18 A roof sags because of laziness. A house leaks because of idle hands. 19 A meal is made for laughter, and wine makes life pleasant, but money is the answer for everything. 20 Don't curse the king even in your thoughts, and don't curse rich people even in your bedroom. A bird may carry your words, or some winged creature may repeat what you say.

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GOD'S WORD is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations (http://GodsWord.org). Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.

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