The Present Seems Futile
1 “But now they laugh me to scorn, Men younger than I, whose fathers I disdained; Whom I did not deem worthy to be put With the dogs of my pastures.†
2 Indeed, what profit is the strength of their hands to me? For them the full term of life was lost.
3 In want and famine, they are childless. Yesterday they fled to a waterless desert in anguish and misery.
4 They are those who surround the noisy salt places, Who have salty herbs for their food, And who are also considered worthless And deficient of every good thing, And chew on the roots of trees because of their great hunger.
5 Thieves have risen up against me,
6 Whose houses were holes in the rocks,
7 Who cry out among the rustling bushes And live under the wild shrubs.
8 They are the sons of fools and dishonored men, Whose name and fame were extinguished from the earth.
9 “But now I am their lyre, And they have me as their byword.
10 They detest me and keep their distance. They do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 For He has opened His quiver and afflicted me. They have cast off restraint in my presence.
12 They rose up against me by the right hands of their offspring; And they stretched out their foot And directed against me their paths of destruction.
13 My paths are ruined, for they stripped off my garment.†
14 He shot me down with His arrows And used me as He wished. I am overwhelmed with pains.
15 My pains are turned upon me. My hope is gone like the wind And my salvation like a cloud.
16 “Even now my soul will be poured forth upon me, And the days of pains seize me.
17 By night my bones are set on fire, And my sinews are broken up.
18 With great force He took hold of my garment, And like the collar of my tunic He surrounded me.
19 You regarded me as clay in the earth, And my portion is with ashes.
20 “I cry out to You, but You do not answer me. They stood and observed me.
21 You attacked me without mercy And scourged me with a strong hand.
22 You appointed pains for me And cast me away from salvation.
23 For I know death will destroy me, For the earth is the house for every mortal.
24 “Would that I might lay hands on myself, Or at least ask another, and he would do it for me.
25 Yet I wept over every man without strength And groaned when I saw a man in distress.†
26 But while I held firmly to good things, Days of evils happened to me instead.
27 My stomach churns and will not be quiet, And days of poverty have come upon me.
28 I go groaning without restraint; I stand up and cry out in the church.
29 I have become a brother of sirens And a companion of sparrows.
30 My skin has been greatly darkened, And my bones are burned by the heat.
31 My lyre turned into mourning And my song into my weeping.
12 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands;
13 They have a mouth, but they shall not speak; They have eyes, but they shall not see;
14 They have ears, but they shall not hear; They have noses, but they shall not smell;
15 They have hands, but they shall not feel; They have feet, but they shall not walk; They shall make no sound with their throats.
16 May those who make them become like them, And all who trust in them.
17 The house of Israel hoped in the Lord; He is their help and their protector.
18 The house of Aaron hoped in the Lord; He is their help and their protector.
19 Those who feared the Lord hoped in the Lord; He is their help and their protector.
20 The Lord remembered us and blessed us; He blessed the house of Israel; He blessed the house of Aaron;
21 He blessed those who feared the Lord, The least with the greatest.
22 May the Lord increase you, Both you and your children;
23 You are blessed by the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
24 The heaven of heaven belongs to the Lord, But He gave the earth to the sons of men.
25 The dead shall not praise You, O Lord, Neither do all who descend into Hades;
26 But we who live shall bless the Lord, From this present time and unto the ages.
Proverbs of Solomon 24
29 He who says about an ungodly man, “He is righteous,” Shall be accursed to people and despicable to nations;
30 But those who reprove him shall appear more excellent, And a good blessing shall come upon them; And they will kiss the lips that answer good words.
31 Prepare your works for your going forth, And prepare yourself for the field;†
32 And walk behind me, And you shall build up your house.
33 Do not be a false witness against your countryman, Neither open wide your lips;
34 Do not say, “I will treat him as he treated me, And I shall avenge myself on him wherein he wronged me.”
Work for Heavenly Bread
22 On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone—
23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks—
24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”
26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.†
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
Jesus, the Bread of Life
30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?
31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”
32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.
37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.†
39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.”
42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Eat His Flesh, Drink His Blood
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.
44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.
47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.