Chapter 10

1 Pestilent flies will corrupt a preparation of sweet ointment: and a little wisdom is more precious than great glory of folly.

2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. 3 Yea, and whenever a fool walks by the way, his heart will fail him, and all that he 1thinks of is folly.

4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for soothing will put an end to great offences. 5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, wherein an error has proceeded from the ruler. 6 The fool has been set in very high places, while rich men would sit in a low one. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants on the earth.

8 He that digs a pit shall fall into it; and him that breaks down a hedge a serpent shall bite.

9 He that removes stones shall be troubled thereby; he that cleaves wood shall be endangered thereby.


10 If 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.2

11 If a serpent bite when there is no charmer's 3whisper, then there is no advantage to the charmer. 12 The words of a wise mouth are gracious: but the lips of a fool will swallow him up. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is folly: and the end of his talk mischievous madness. 14 A fool moreover multiplies words: man knows not what has been, nor what will be: who shall tell him what will come after him? 15 The labour of fools will afflict them, as that of one who knows not to go to the city.

16 Woe to thee, O city, whose king is young, and thy princes eat in the morning! 17 Blessed art thou, O land, whose king is a son of nobles, and whose princes shall eat seasonably, for strength, and shall not be ashamed.

18 By slothful neglect a building will be brought low: and by idleness of the hands the house will fall to pieces.

19 Men prepare bread for laughter, and wine and oil that the living should rejoice: but 4to money all things will humbly yield obedience.

20 Even 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.

1 Gr. will think of.

2 Alex. for τῷ ἀνδρὶ οὐ reads τοῦ ἀνδρεὶου. Wisdom is the advantage of an energetic man.

3 Gr. whistle.

4 Heb. doubly translated. Alex.--'humbly.'


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