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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Online Bible

NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES (1984 EDITION) See 2013 revision

Ecclesiastes 10:1-20

10  Dead flies* are what cause the oil of the ointment maker+ to stink, to bubble forth. [So] a little foolishness does to one who is precious for wisdom and glory.+  The heart of the wise is at his right hand,+ but the heart of the stupid at his left hand.+  And also in whatever way the foolish one is walking,+ his own heart is lacking,* and he certainly says to everybody that he is foolish.+  If the spirit of a ruler should mount up against you, do not leave your own place,+ for calmness itself allays great sins.+  There exists something calamitous that I have seen under the sun, as when there is a mistake+ going forth on account of the one in power:+  Foolishness* has been put in many high positions,+ but the rich ones themselves keep dwelling merely in a low condition.  I have seen servants on horses but princes walking on the earth just like servants.+  He that is digging a pit will himself fall right into it;+ and he that is breaking through a stone wall, a serpent will bite him.+  He that is quarrying out stones will hurt himself with them. He that is splitting logs will have to be careful with them.+ 10  If an iron tool has become blunt and someone has not whetted its edge,+ then he will exert his own vital energies. So the using of wisdom to success means advantage.+ 11  If the serpent bites when no charming results,+ then there is no advantage to the one indulging in the tongue. 12  The words of the mouth of the wise one mean favor,+ but the lips of the stupid one swallow him up.+ 13  The start of the words of his mouth is foolishness,+ and the end afterward of his mouth is calamitous madness. 14  And the foolish one speaks many words.+ Man* does not know what will come to be; and that which will come to be after him, who can tell him?+ 15  The hard work of the stupid ones makes them weary,+ because not one has come to know how to go to the city.+ 16  How will it be with you, O land, when your king is a boy+ and your own princes keep eating even in the morning? 17  Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of noble ones and your own princes eat at the proper time for mightiness, not for mere drinking.+ 18  Through great laziness the beamwork sinks in, and through the letting down of the hands the house leaks.+ 19  Bread* is for the laughter of the workers, and wine itself makes life rejoice;+ but money* is what meets a response in all things.+ 20  Even in your bedroom do not call down evil upon the king himself,+ and in the interior rooms where you lie down do not call down evil upon anyone rich;+ for a flying creature of the heavens will convey the sound and something owning wings will tell the matter.+

Footnotes

Lit., “Flies of death.”
Or, “his own good motive is lacking.” Heb., lib·boh′ cha·ser′.
“Foolishness,” M; LXXSyVg, “The foolish one.”
Lit., “The earthling man.” Heb., ha·ʼa·dham′.
Or, “Food.” Heb., le′chem.
Lit., “but the silver.” Heb., wehak·ke′seph.