Ecclesiastes 6–7:10; John 8:21–38

nThere is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man oto whom pGod gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he qlacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God rdoes not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity;1 it is a grievous evil. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that sthe days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's tgood things, and he also has no uburial, I say that va stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it has not wseen the sun or known anything, yet it finds xrest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy2 no gooddo not all go to the one place?

yAll the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.3 For what advantage has the wise man zover the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living? Better ais the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is bvanity and a striving after wind.

10 Whatever has come to be has calready been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to ddispute with one stronger than he. 11 The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? 12 For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his evain4 life, which he passes like fa shadow? For who can tell man what will be gafter him under the sun?

The Contrast of Wisdom and Folly

hA good name is better than precious ointment,

and ithe day of death than the day of birth.

It is better to go to the house of mourning

than to go to the house of feasting,

for this is the end of all mankind,

and the living will jlay it to heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter,

kfor by sadness of face the heart is made glad.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,

but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

It is lbetter for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise

than to hear the song of fools.

mFor as the crackling of nthorns under a pot,

so is the laughter of the fools;

this also is vanity.5

Surely ooppression drives the wise into madness,

and pa bribe corrupts the heart.

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,

and qthe patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

rBe not quick in your spirit to become angry,

sfor anger lodges in the heart6 of fools.

10  Say not, Why were the former days better than these?

For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.


21 So he said to them again, fI am going away, and gyou will seek me, and hyou will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come. 22 So the Jews said, iWill he kill himself, since he says, Where I am going, you cannot come? 23 He said to them, jYou are from below; I am from above. kYou are of this world; lI am not of this world. 24 I told you that you mwould die in your sins, for nunless you believe that oI am he you will die in your sins. 25 So they said to him, pWho are you? Jesus said to them, Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but qhe who sent me is true, and I declare rto the world swhat I have heard from him. 27 They did not understand that the had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, When you have ulifted up the Son of Man, vthen you will know that wI am he, and that xI do nothing on my own authority, but yspeak just as the Father taught me. 29 And zhe who sent me is with me. zHe has not left me alone, for aI always do the things that are pleasing to him. 30 As he was saying these things, bmany believed in him.

The Truth Will Set You Free

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, cIf you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will dknow the truth, and the truth ewill set you free. 33 They answered him, fWe are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, You will become free?

34 Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, geveryone who practices sin is a slave1 to sin. 35 hThe slave does not remain in the house forever; ithe son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet jyou seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 kI speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard lfrom your father.