Amplified Bible

Ecclesiastes 10

A Little Foolishness

1Dead flies make the oil of the perfumer give off a foul odor; so a little foolishness [in one who is esteemed] outweighs wisdom and honor. A wise man’s heart turns him toward the right [which is the way of blessing], but a fool’s heart turns him toward the left [which is the way of condemnation]. Even when a fool walks along the road, his [common] sense and good judgment fail him and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool. If the temper of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post [showing resistance], because composure and calmness prevent great offenses.

There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like an error which proceeds from the ruler— folly is set in many exalted places and in great dignity while the rich sit in humble places. I have seen slaves riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the ground.

He who digs a pit [for others] may fall into it, and a serpent may bite him who breaks through a [stone] wall. He who quarries stones may be hurt with them, and he who splits logs may be endangered by them. 10 If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength; but wisdom [to sharpen the axe] helps him succeed [with less effort]. 11 If the serpent bites before being charmed, then there is no profit for the charmer. 12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious and win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him; 13 the beginning of [a]his talking is foolishness and the end of his talk is wicked madness. 14 Yet the fool multiplies words, though no man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after he is gone? 15 The labor of a fool so wearies him [because he is ignorant] that he does not even know how to go to a city. 16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child and when your [incompetent] officials and princes feast in the morning. 17 Blessed [prosperous and admired] are you, O land, when your king is a man of noble birth, and your princes and officials feast at the proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness. 18 Through laziness the rafters [of state affairs] decay and the roof sags, and through idleness [the roof of] the house leaks. 19 The officials make a feast for enjoyment [instead of repairing what is broken], and serve wine to make life merry, and money is the answer to everything. 20 Moreover, do not curse the king, even in your bedroom, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry the sound and a winged creature will make the matter known.

Notas al pie

  1. Ecclesiastes 10:13 Lit the words of his mouth.

New International Reader's Version

Ecclesiastes 10

1Dead flies give perfume a bad smell.
    And a little foolishness can make a lot of wisdom useless.
The hearts of wise people lead them on the right path.
    But the hearts of foolish people take them down the wrong path.
Foolish people don’t have any sense at all.
    They show everyone they are foolish.
    They do it even when they are walking along the road.
Suppose a ruler gets very angry with you.
    If he does, don’t quit your job in the palace.
    Being calm can overcome what you have done against him.

Here’s something evil I’ve seen on this earth.
    And it’s the kind of mistake that rulers make.
Foolish people are given many important jobs.
    Rich people are given unimportant ones.
I’ve seen slaves on horseback.
    I’ve also seen princes who were forced to walk as if they were slaves.

Anyone who digs a pit might fall into it.
    Anyone who breaks through a wall might be bitten by a snake.
Anyone who removes stones from rock pits might get hurt.
    Anyone who cuts logs might get wounded.

10 Suppose the blade of an ax is dull.
    And its edge hasn’t been sharpened.
Then more effort is needed to use it.
    But skill will bring success.

11 Suppose a snake bites before it is charmed.
    Then the snake charmer receives no payment.

12 Wise people say gracious things.
    But foolish people are destroyed by what their own lips speak.
13 At first what they say is foolish.
    In the end their words are very evil.
14     They talk too much.

No one knows what lies ahead.
    Who can tell someone else what will happen after they are gone?

15 The work foolish people do makes them tired.
    They don’t even know the way to town.

16 How terrible it is for a land whose king used to be a servant!
    How terrible if its princes get drunk in the morning!
17 How blessed is the land whose king was born into the royal family!
    How blessed if its princes eat and drink at the proper time!
    How blessed if they eat and drink to become strong and not to get drunk!

18 When a person won’t work, the roof falls down.
    Because of hands that aren’t busy, the house leaks.

19 People laugh at a dinner party.
    And wine makes life happy.
    People think money can buy everything.

20 Don’t say bad things about the king.
    Don’t even think about those things.
Don’t curse rich people.
    Don’t even curse them in your bedroom.
A bird might fly away and carry your words.
    It might report what you said.