1 Dead flies (i.e. flies that bring or produce death) [are that which will] cause the ointment of the apothecary to to stink [and] ferment: so does stupidity [cause] him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor [to send forth an offensive savor].
2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a dullard's heart at his left.
3 Yes also, when he that is a fool walks by the way, his heart fails him,
and he tells every one that he himself is a fool.
4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against you, leave not your place; for gentleness prevents greater outrage.
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceeds from the ruler:
6 A great dullard is set in many high places, 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 digs a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaks a hedge (= a wall built of loose stones without mortar. Used especially of sheep-folds; also fencing pathways between the vineyards. The crevices between the loose stones form hiding places for lizards and other creeping things), a serpent shall bite him.
9 Whoso removes stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaves 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 toil of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he knows not how to go to the city.
O5 F 10:16,17. Kings and the land. G 10;18. Builders. H 10:19. Riches. F 10:20. Kings and subject. G 11:1-6. Sowers. H 11:7-12:8. Youth.
16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes eat in the morning!
17 Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18 By much slothfulness the roof falls in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine will gladden life: but money makes everything respond [to their requirements]. (I.e. will procure both [feast and wine])
20 Revile not the king, no not in your secret thought i.e. with all your acquired knowledge); and curse not the rich in your bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.