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

    Journey from the Center of the Earth, and Back Again [—at A Life Overseas]

    When I was born, it was quite the event and a lot of really great people wanted to meet me, or so I’m told. Just a few years later, my kindergarten teacher praised me for being especially polite. And then, in grade school, I was awarded the red, white, and blue Good Citizen badge to […]

    God’s Speed: Slowing Down, Listening, and Learning

    Matt Canlis, an Anglican pastor, has some good friends who appear with him in the video Godspeed. Some are rather famous: Eugene Peterson and N. T. Wright (whom he calls “Tom”). Others are not so well known, at least not outside Aberdeenshire, Scotland: Alan Torrance (with whom he started a “wee kinda group of men” […]