The New Revised Standard Version
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Wisdom and Folly

9 Whoever teaches a fool is like one who glues potsherds together,

or who rouses a sleeper from deep slumber.

10 Whoever tells a story to a fool tells it to a drowsy man;

and at the end he will say, “What is it?”

11 Weep for the dead, for he has left the light behind;

and weep for the fool, for he has left intelligence behind.

Weep less bitterly for the dead, for he is at rest;

but the life of the fool is worse than death.

12 Mourning for the dead lasts seven days,

but for the foolish or the ungodly it lasts all the days of their lives.

13 Do not talk much with a senseless person

or visit an unintelligent person.b

Stay clear of him, or you may have trouble,

and be spattered when he shakes himself off.

Avoid him and you will find rest,

and you will never be wearied by his lack of sense.

14 What is heavier than lead?

And what is its name except “Fool”?

15 Sand, salt, and a piece of iron

are easier to bear than a stupid person.

16 A wooden beam firmly bonded into a building

is not loosened by an earthquake;

so the mind firmly resolved after due reflection

will not be afraid in a crisis.

17 A mind settled on an intelligent thought

is like stucco decoration that makes a wall smooth.

18 Fencesc set on a high place

will not stand firm against the wind;

so a timid mind with a fool’s resolve

will not stand firm against any fear.


About The New Revised Standard Version

The original Revised Standard Version served as a standard for nearly forty years. The New Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha maintains the traditions of the older version with fresh new vocabulary and modern English construction.


Up to five hundred (500) verses of The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible text may be quoted or reprinted without the express written permission of the publisher, provided that the verses quoted neither amount to a complete book of the Bible nor account for 50% or more of the written text of the total work in which they are quoted.

When the NRSV text is quoted, notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page of the work as follows:

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.

When quotations from the NRSV text are used in a non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies or similar media, the initials (NRSV) may be used at the end of each quotation.

Quotations or reprints in excess of five hundred (500) verses (as well as other permissions requests) must be approved in writing by the NRSV Permissions Office, The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115-0050.

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