10 1A few dead flies in perfume make all of it stink, and a little foolishness outweighs a lot of wisdom. 2Sensible thoughts lead you to do right; foolish thoughts lead you to do wrong. 3Fools show their stupidity by the way they live; it's easy to see they have no sense. 4Don't give up your job when your boss gets angry. If you stay calm, you'll be forgiven. 5Rulers do some things that are terribly unfair: 6They honor fools, but dishonor the rich; 7they let slaves ride on horses, but force slave owners to walk. 8 If you dig a pit, you might fall in; if you break down a wall, a snake might bite you.[A] 9You could even get hurt by chiseling a stone or chopping a log. 10If you don't sharpen your ax, it will be harder to use; if you are wise, you'll know what to do.[B] 11The power to charm a snake does you no good if it bites you anyway. 12If you talk sensibly, you will have friends; if you talk foolishly, you will destroy yourself. 13Fools begin with nonsense, and their stupid chatter ends with disaster. 14They never tire of talking, but none of us really know what the future will bring. 15Fools wear themselves out— they don't know enough to find their way home.[C] 16A country is in for trouble when its ruler is childish, and its leaders party all day long. 17But a nation will prosper when its ruler is mature, and its leaders don't party too much. 18Some people are too lazy to fix a leaky roof— then the house collapses. 19Eating and drinking make you feel happy, and money can buy everything you need. 20Don't let yourself think about cursing the king; don't curse the rich, not even in secret. A little bird might hear and tell everything.
Contemporary English Version / ©1995 American Bible Society About