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 [^1] 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.