1Pestilent flies will corrupt a preparation of sweet ointment: And a little wisdom is more precious than great glory of folly.
2A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; But a fool’s heart at his left.
3Yea, and whenever a fool walks by the way, His heart will fail him, And all that he thinks of is folly.
4If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, Leave not thy place; For soothing will put an end to great offenses.
5There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, Wherein an error has proceeded from the ruler.
6The fool has been set in very high places, While rich men would sit in a low one.
7I have seen servants upon horses, And princes walking as servants on the earth.
8He that digs a pit shall fall into it; And him that breaks down a hedge a serpent shall bite.
9He that removes stones shall be troubled thereby; He that cleaves wood shall be endangered thereby.
10If the axe-head should fall off, Then the man troubles his countenance, And he must put forth more strength: And in that case skill is of no advantage to a man.
11If a serpent bite when there is no charmer’s whisper, Then there is no advantage to the charmer.
12The words of a wise mouth are gracious: But the lips of a fool will swallow him up.
13The beginning of the words of his mouth is folly: And the end of his talk mischievous madness.
14A fool moreover multiplies words: Man knows not what has been, nor what will be: Who shall tell him what will come after him?
15The labor of fools will afflict them, As that of one who knows not to go to the city.
16Woe to thee, O city, whose king is young, And thy princes eat in the morning!
17Blessed art thou, O land, whose king is a son of nobles, And whose princes shall eat seasonably, for strength, And shall not be ashamed.
18By slothful neglect a building will be brought low: And by idleness of the hands the house will fall to pieces.
19Men prepare bread for laughter, And wine and oil that the living should rejoice: But to money all things will humbly yield obedience.
20Even in thy conscience, curse not the king; And curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: For a bird of the air shall carry thy voice, And that which has wings shall report thy speech.