Nonfiction > The Bible > Harvard Classics > Ecclesiastes
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
[1]    DEAD flies cause the oil of the perfumer to 1 send forth an evil odor; so doth a little folly outweigh 2 wisdom and honor.
[2]  A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.
[3]  Yea also, when the fool walketh by the way, his understanding 3 faileth him, and he saith to 4 every one that he is a fool.
[4]  If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for gentleness 5 allayeth great offences.
[5]    There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as it were an error which proceedeth from the ruler:
[6]  folly is set in great dignity, 6 and the rich sit in a low place.
[7]  I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking like servants upon the earth.
[8]    He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh through a wall, a serpent shall bite him.
[9]  Whoso heweth 7 out stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood is endangered thereby.
[10]  If the iron be blunt, and one do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.
[11]  If 8 the serpent bite before 9 it is charmed, then is there no advantage in the 10 charmer.
[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 11 talk is mischievous madness.
[14]  A fool also multiplieth words: yet man knoweth not what shall be; and that which shall be after him, who can tell him?
[15]  The labor of fools wearieth every one of them; for he knoweth not how to go to the city.
[16]    Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, 12 and thy princes eat in the morning!
[17]  Happy art thou, O land, when thy king is the 13 son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!
[18]  By slothfulness the roof 14 sinketh in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaketh.
[19]  A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh glad the life; and money answereth all things.
[20]  Revile not the king, no, not in thy thought; and revile not the rich in thy bed-chamber: for a bird of the heavens shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
Note 1. Or, to stink and putrefy. [back]
Note 2. Or, him that is valued for wisdom. [back]
Note 3. Heb. heart. [back]
Note 4. Or, of. [back]
Note 5. Or, calmness leaveth great sins undone. [back]
Note 6. Heb. heights. [back]
Note 7. Or, moveth stones. [back]
Note 8. Or, Surely the serpent will bite where there is no enchantment; and the slanderer is no better. [back]
Note 9. Heb. without enchantment. [back]
Note 10. Heb. the master of the tongue. [back]
Note 11. Heb. his mouth. [back]
Note 12. Or, servant. [back]
Note 13. Or, a free man. [back]
Note 14. Or, rafters sink. [back]


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