The fools (Eccl 10:1-10:3)

“Dead flies make

The perfumer’s ointment

Give off a foul odor.

So a little folly outweighs

Wisdom and honor.

The heart of the wise

Inclines to the right.

But the heart of a fool

Inclines to the left.

Even when the fools

Walk on the road,

They lack sense.

They show to everyone

That they are fools.”

Here are some more words of wisdom from Qoheleth. Dead flies can ruin an ointment by giving off a smelly odor. A little folly can outweigh wisdom and honor. The heart of the wise leans to the right, but the heart of a fool leans to the left. This illustrates the traditional view that left leaning people are foolish. Even when a fool is out walking, he still lacks good sense. Fools show to everyone that they really are fools.

The wicked ruler (Prov 28:14-28:17)

“Happy is one who is never without fear.

But whoever is hard hearted

Will fall into calamity.

Like a roaring lion

Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

Like a charging bear

Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

A ruler who lacks understanding

Is a cruel oppressor.

But one who hates unjust gain

Will enjoy a long life.

If someone is burdened with the blood of another,

Let that killer be a fugitive until death.

Let no one help him.”

The wicked ruler is a reality. However, if you always have fear, you will be happy. Remember that fear of Yahweh was the beginning of wisdom. If you are hard hearted then things will go bad for you. The wicked ruler is like a roaring lion or a charging bear. Do not get in his way. If he lacks understanding he will be a cruel oppressor. If you are willing to not accept an unjust gain, you will enjoy a long life. However, if you killed someone, you are a fugitive for life. No one will help you.

City life (Prov 11:10-11:14)

“When it goes well with the righteous,

The city rejoices.

When the wicked perish

There is jubilation.

By the blessing of the upright,

A city is exalted.

But the city is overthrown

By the mouth of the wicked.

Whoever belittles another

Lacks sense.

But an intelligent person remains silent.

A gossip goes about telling secrets.

But one who is trustworthy in spirit

Keeps a confidence.

Where there is no guidance,

A nation falls.

But in an abundance of counselors

There is safety.”

The city dwellers are happy with the righteous. They rejoice when all goes well with them. However, they are just as happy when the wicked perish. The city dwellers exalt at the blessings of the upright. However, the words of the wicked can overthrow a city. Anyone who belittles another lacks sense because the intelligent person keeps silent. You cannot trust gossips that go about telling secrets because they are not trustworthy. If there is no guidance, a city or country will fall. It is much better when there are many counselors, since they will keep the city or country safe.