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Ecclesiastes 10

1 Dead flies cause a perfumer's perfume To send forth a stink; The precious by reason of wisdom -- By reason of honour -- a little folly! 2 The heart of the wise is at his right hand, And the heart of a fool at his left. 3 And also, when he that is a fool Is walking in the way, his heart is lacking, And he hath said to every one, 'He is a fool.' 4 If the spirit of the ruler go up against thee, Thy place leave not, For yielding quieteth great sinners.

5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, As an error that goeth out from the ruler, 6 He hath set the fool in many high places, And the rich in a low place do sit. 7 I have seen servants on horses, And princes walking as servants on the earth.

8 Whoso is digging a pit falleth into it, And whoso is breaking a hedge, a serpent biteth him. 9 Whoso is removing stones is grieved by them, Whoso is cleaving trees endangered by them. 10 If the iron hath been blunt, And he the face hath not sharpened, Then doth he increase strength, And wisdom is advantageous to make right. 11 If the serpent biteth without enchantment, Then there is no advantage to a master of the tongue. 12 Words of the mouth of the wise are gracious, And the lips of a fool swallow him up. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is folly, And the latter end of his mouth Is mischievous madness. 14 And the fool multiplieth words: 'Man knoweth not that which is, And that which is after him, who doth declare to him?' 15 The labour of the foolish wearieth him, In that he hath not known to go unto the city. 16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a youth, And thy princes do eat in the morning. 17 Happy art thou, O land, When thy king is a son of freemen, And thy princes do eat in due season, For might, and not for drunkenness. 18 By slothfulness is the wall brought low, And by idleness of the hands doth the house drop. 19 For mirth they are making a feast, And wine maketh life joyful, And the silver answereth with all. 20 Even in thy mind a king revile not, And in the inner parts of thy bed-chamber Revile not the rich: For a fowl of the heavens causeth the voice to go, And a possessor of wings declareth the word.

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Young's Literal Translation

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