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Ecclesiastes chapter 10

New International Version

1 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. 3 Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are.
4 If a ruler's anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest. 5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler: 6 Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones.
7 I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves. 8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
10 If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.
11 If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee. 12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips. 13 At the beginning their words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness--
14 and fools multiply words. No one knows what is coming-- who can tell someone else what will happen after them?
15 The toil of fools wearies them; they do not know the way to town. 16 Woe to the land whose king was a servant and whose princes feast in the morning.
17 Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time-- for strength and not for drunkenness.
18 Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything. 20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
English Standard Version

1 Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left. 3 Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool. 4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest. 5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: 6 folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. 7 I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.
8 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. 9 He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them. 10 If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed. 11 If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. 12 The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness. 14 A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him? 15 The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city. 16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! 17 Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks. 19 Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything. 20 Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter.
King James Version

1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. 3 Yea 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 rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences. 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 whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. 9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby. 10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to 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 labour 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 bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
New American Standard Bible

1 Dead flies turn a perfumer’s oil rancid, so a little foolishness is more potent than wisdom and honor. 2 A wise person’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish person’s heart directs him toward the left. 3 Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking, and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool. 4 If the ruler’s temper rises against you, do not abandon your place, because composure puts great offenses to rest.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like a mistake that proceeds from the ruler: 6 foolishness is set in many exalted places while the rich sit in humble places. 7 I have seen slaves riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.
8 One who digs a pit may fall into it, and a serpent may bite one who breaks through a wall. 9 One who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and one who splits logs may be endangered by them. 10 If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of bringing success. 11 If the serpent bites before being charmed, there is no benefit for the charmer. 12 Words from the mouth of a wise person are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him; 13 the beginning of his talking is foolishness, and the end of it is evil insanity. 14 Yet the fool multiplies words. No person knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him? 15 The labor of a fool makes him so weary that he does not even know how to go to a city. 16 Woe to you, land whose king is a boy, and whose princes feast in the morning. 17 Blessed are you, land whose king is of nobility, and whose princes eat at the appropriate time—for strength and not for drunkenness. 18 Through extreme laziness the rafters sag, and through idleness the house leaks. 19 People prepare a meal for enjoyment, wine makes life joyful, and money is the answer to everything. 20 Furthermore, in your bedroom do not curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich person; for a bird of the sky will bring the sound, and the winged one will make your word known.
New Living Translation

1 As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor.
2 A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.
3 You can identify fools just by the way they walk down the street!
4 If your boss is angry at you, don't quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes.
5 There is another evil I have seen under the sun. Kings and rulers make a grave mistake 6 when they give great authority to foolish people and low positions to people of proven worth. 7 I have even seen servants riding horseback like princes--and princes walking like servants!
8 When you dig a well, you might fall in. When you demolish an old wall, you could be bitten by a snake. 9 When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you. When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax.
10 Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That's the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.
11 If a snake bites before you charm it, what's the use of being a snake charmer?
12 Wise words bring approval, but fools are destroyed by their own words.
13 Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their conclusions will be wicked madness;
14 they chatter on and on. No one really knows what is going to happen; no one can predict the future.
15 Fools are so exhausted by a little work that they can't even find their way home.
16 What sorrow for the land ruled by a servant, the land whose leaders feast in the morning. 17 Happy is the land whose king is a noble leader and whose leaders feast at the proper time to gain strength for their work, not to get drunk.
18 Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house.
19 A party gives laughter, wine gives happiness, and money gives everything!
20 Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts. And don't make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Dead flies make a perfumer's oil ferment and stink; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 A wise person's heart goes to the right, but a fool's heart to the left. 3 Even when the fool walks along the road, his heart lacks sense, and he shows everyone he is a fool. 4 If the ruler's anger rises against you, don't leave your post, for calmness puts great offenses to rest.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, an error proceeding from the presence of the ruler:
6 The fool is appointed to great heights, but the rich remain in lowly positions.
7 I have seen slaves on horses, but princes walking on the ground like slaves. 8 The one who digs a pit may fall into it, and the one who breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. 9 The one who quarries stones may be hurt by them; the one who splits logs may be endangered by them. 10 If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge, then one must exert more strength; however, the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success. 11 If the snake bites before it is charmed, then there is no advantage for the charmer. 12 The words from the mouth of a wise person are gracious, but the lips of a fool consume him. 13 The beginning of the words from his mouth is folly, but the end of his speaking is evil madness; 14 yet the fool multiplies words. No one knows what will happen, and who can tell anyone what will happen after him? 15 The struggles of fools weary them, for they don't know how to go to the city. 16 Woe to you, land, when your king is a youth and your princes feast in the morning. 17 Blessed are you, land, when your king is a son of nobles and your princes feast at the proper time -- for strength and not for drunkenness. 18 Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of negligent hands the house leaks. 19 A feast is prepared for laughter, and wine makes life happy, and money is the answer for everything. 20 Do not curse the king even in your thoughts, and do not curse a rich person even in your bedroom, for a bird of the sky may carry the message, and a winged creature may report the matter.

What does Ecclesiastes chapter 10 mean?

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