fly in the ointment

a problem that spoils something that is otherwise good
—We are so glad that my brother will be here for the holiday. The only fly in the ointment is that he can’t stay longer.

Ecclesiastes includes several of Solomon’s proverbs. One of them uses a vivid picture to show that good judgment can be ruined by a little bit of foolishness:

One dead fly makes the perfumer’s ointment give off a rancid stench [Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour—],
so a little folly can outweigh much wisdom. (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    Photographers, Can You Do Us Cross-Cultural Bloggers a Favor? [—at A Life Overseas]

    From a recent edition of the weekly web journal Brigada Today, I found out that there’s a photography conference, “Depth of Field,” coming up, February 7 and 8. It’s designed for pro photographers, but I’m thinking that means amateurs could learn even more from it. And it’s in New York, but the “Main Stage” and […]

    Where Do You Hail From?

    Ask a Third Culture Kid, “Where are you from?” and in response you might get a deep sigh or a quizzical look . . . or a quick, simple answer that staves off more questions. There are other ways to ask for the same information. There’s “Where’s home?” A better question might be “Where have […]