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Ecclesiastes 10

See commentary, Will Work and Wealth Equal Happiness?, Ecclesiastes 6-10     |     See Bible Dictionary

Observations of wisdom and folly;

10:1 Dead flies cause the oil of the perfumer to send forth an evil odor; so does a little folly outweigh wisdom and honor.

10:2 A wise manís heart is at his right hand, but a foolís heart at his left.

10:3 Yes also, when the fool walks by the way, his understanding fails him, and he says to everyone that he is a fool.

10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, donít leave your place; for gentleness lays great offenses to rest.

10:5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, the sort of error which proceeds from the ruler.

10:6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place.

10:7 I have seen servants on horses, and princes walking like servants on the earth.

10:8 He who digs a pit may fall into it; and whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.

10:9 Whoever carves out stones may be injured by them. Whoever splits wood may be endangered thereby.

10:10 If the axe is blunt, and one doesnít sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but skill brings success.

10:11 If the snake bites before it is charmed, then is there no profit for the charmerís tongue.

10:12 The words of a wise manís mouth are gracious; but a fool is swallowed by his own lips.

10:13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness; and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

10:14 A fool also multiplies words.
Man doesnít know what will be; and that which will be after him, who can tell him?

10:15 The labor of fools wearies every one of them; for he doesnít know how to go to the city.

of riot;

10:16 Woe to you, land, when your king is a child,
and your princes eat in the morning!

10:17 Happy are you, land, when your king is the son of nobles,
and your princes eat in due season,
for strength, and not for drunkenness!

slothfulness;

10:18 By slothfulness the roof sinks in;
and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.

and money.

10:19 A feast is made for laughter,
and wine makes the life glad;
and money is the answer for all things.

Men's thoughts of kings ought to be reverent.

10:20 Donít curse the king, no, not in your thoughts;
and donít curse the rich in your bedchamber:
for a bird of the sky may carry your voice,
and that which has wings may tell the matter.

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