1Dead flies can make perfumed oil smell bad. Likewise a little foolishness outweighs great wisdom and honor.
2The mind of the wise person chooses the right side, but the mind of the fool goes left!
3Just the way that fools walk down the road shows they have no sense, making clear to everyone their stupidity.
4If your superior gets angry with you, don't give up and leave. If you stay calm even bad mistakes can be resolved.
5I also realized there's another evil here on earth: rulers make a big mistake
6when they put fools in high positions, while those who are richly qualified are put in low positions.
7I've seen slaves riding on horseback, while princes walk on the ground like slaves.
8If you dig a pit, you could fall in. If you knock down a wall, you could be bitten by a snake.
9If you quarry stone, you could be injured. If you split logs, you could be hurt.
10If your ax is blunt and you don't sharpen it, you have to use a lot more force. Conclusion: being wise brings good results.
11If the snake bites the snake charmer before it's charmed, there's no benefit to the snake charmer!
12Wise words are beneficial, but fools destroy themselves by what they say.
13Fools begin by saying foolish things, and end up talking evil nonsense.
14Fools talk on and on, however no one knows what's going to happen, so who can say what the future holds?
15Work makes fools so worn out they can't achieve anything.
16You're in trouble if the king of your country is young, and if your leaders are busy feasting from early morning.
17You're fortunate if your king comes from a noble family, and your leaders feast at the proper time to give themselves energy, and not to get drunk.
18Lazy people let their roofs collapse; idle people don't repair their leaky houses.
19A good meal brings pleasure; wine makes life pleasant; money provides for all needs.
20Don't talk badly about the king, not even in your thoughts. Don't talk badly about leaders, even in the privacy of your bedroom. A bird may hear what you say and fly away to tell them.