10 Dead flies make gthe perfumer’s ointment give off a stench;
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2 hA wise man’s heart inclines him to the right,
but a fool’s heart to the left.
3 Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense,
and he isays to everyone that he is a fool.
4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, jdo not leave your place,
5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were lan error proceeding from the ruler: 6 mfolly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. 7 nI have seen slaves oon horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.
8 He who pdigs a pit will fall into it,
and qa serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.
9 rHe who quarries stones is hurt by them,
and he who ssplits logs is endangered by them.
10 If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,
he must use more strength,
but wisdom helps one to succeed.2
11 If the serpent bites before it is tcharmed,
there is no advantage to the charmer.
12 The words of a wise man’s mouth uwin him favor,3
but vthe lips of a fool consume him.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness,
and the end of his talk is evil madness.
14 wA fool multiplies words,
though no man knows what is to be,
and who can tell him xwhat will be after him?
15 The toil of a fool wearies him,
for he does not know ythe way to the city.
16 zWoe to you, O land, when your king is a child,
and your princes feast in the morning!
17 Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility,
and your princes feast at the proper time,
for strength, and not for adrunkenness!
18 Through sloth the roof sinks in,
and through indolence the house leaks.
19 Bread is made for laughter,
and bwine gladdens life,
and cmoney answers everything.
20 Even in your thoughts, ddo not curse the king,
nor in your ebedroom curse the rich,
for a bird of the air will carry your voice,
or some winged creature tell the matter.
Cast Your Bread upon the Waters
11 fCast your bread upon the waters,
gfor you will find it after many days.
2 hGive a portion to iseven, or even to eight,
jfor you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain,
they empty themselves on the earth,
and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
4 He who observes the wind will not sow,
and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the way kthe spirit comes to lthe bones in the womb1 of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
6 In the morning sow your seed, and at evening mwithhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to nsee the sun.
8 So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember othat the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is pvanity.2
9 qRejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. rWalk in the ways of your heart and sthe sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things tGod will bring you into judgment.
10 Remove vexation from your heart, and uput away pain3 from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.
Remember Your Creator in Your Youth
12 Remember also your Creator in vthe days of your youth, before wthe evil days come and the years draw near of which xyou will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before ythe sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, 3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and zthose who look through the windows are dimmed, 4 and athe doors on the street are shut—when bthe sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all cthe daughters of song are brought low— 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and dterrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,1 and desire fails, because man is going to his eeternal fhome, and the gmourners go about the streets— 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or hthe golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is ishattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and jthe dust returns to the earth as it was, and kthe spirit returns to God lwho gave it. 8 mVanity2 of vanities, says nthe Preacher; all is vanity.
Fear God and Keep His Commandments
9 Besides being wise, nthe Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging omany proverbs with great care. 10 nThe Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.
11 pThe words of the wise are like goads, and like qnails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are rgiven by sone Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making umany books there is no end, and vmuch study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. wFear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.3 14 For xGod will bring every deed into judgment, with4 every secret thing, whether good or evil.
The Song of Solomon
1 The Song of aSongs, which is Solomon’s.
The Bride Confesses Her Love
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
For your blove is better than wine;
3 your canointing oils are fragrant;
your dname is oil poured out;
therefore virgins love you.
4 eDraw me after you; flet us run.
gThe king has brought me into his chambers.
We will hexult and rejoice in you;
we will extol byour love more than wine;
rightly do they love you.
5 I am very dark, but ilovely,
O jdaughters of Jerusalem,
like the curtains of Solomon.
6 Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
because the sun has looked upon me.
My mmother’s sons were angry with me;
they made me nkeeper of othe vineyards,
but pmy own vineyard I have not kept!
7 Tell me, you qwhom my soul loves,
where you rpasture your flock,
where you make it slie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who veils herself
beside the flocks of your tcompanions?
Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other
8 If you do not know,
O umost beautiful among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock,
and pasture your young goats
beside the shepherds’ tents.
9 I compare you, vmy love,
to wa mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.
10 xYour cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
your neck with strings of jewels.
11 We will make for you2 ornaments of gold,
studded with silver.
12 While ythe king was on his couch,
my znard gave forth its fragrance.
13 My beloved is to me a sachet of amyrrh
that lies between my breasts.
14 My beloved is to me a cluster of bhenna blossoms
in the vineyards of cEngedi.
15 dBehold, eyou are beautiful, fmy love;
behold, you are beautiful;
your geyes are doves.
16 Behold, you are beautiful, hmy beloved, truly idelightful.
Our couch is green;
17 the beams of our house are jcedar;
our rafters are jpine.
2 I am a rose1 of Sharon,
ka lily of the valleys.
2 As a lily among brambles,
so is lmy love among the young women.
3 As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
so is my mbeloved among the young men.
With great delight I sat nin his shadow,
and his ofruit was sweet to my taste.
4 He pbrought me to the banqueting house,2
and his qbanner over me was love.
5 Sustain me with rraisins;
refresh me with apples,
sfor I am sick with love.
6 His tleft hand is under my head,
and his right hand uembraces me!
7 I vadjure you,3 O wdaughters of Jerusalem,
by xthe gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.
The Bride Adores Her Beloved
8 The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes,
leaping yover the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
9 My beloved is like za gazelle
or a young stag.
Behold, there he stands
behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
looking through the lattice.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
a“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,
11 for behold, the winter is past;
bthe rain is over and gone.
12 cThe flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing4 has come,
and the voice of dthe turtledove
is heard in our land.
13 eThe fig tree ripens its figs,
and fthe vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
gArise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.
14 O my hdove, in the iclefts of the rock,
in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
let me jhear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is klovely.
the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
ffor our vineyards are in blossom.”
16 mMy beloved is mine, and I am his;
17 Until othe day breathes
and pthe shadows flee,
turn, my beloved, be like qa gazelle
or a young stag on cleft mountains.7