The Vanity of Merriment
1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with merriment and see if this is good; and behold, this, too, is vanity.”†
2 I said concerning laughter, “This is madness,” and concerning merriment, “What does this accomplish?”
3 I searched in my heart that I might excite my flesh as with wine. And my heart guided me with wisdom to grasp what is foolishness, until I might see what is good for the sons of men, that which they should do under the sun all the days of their life.
4 I made my works great; I built myself houses and planted vineyards for myself.
5 I made myself gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6 I made pools of water for myself from which to water growing trees.
7 I acquired male and female servants, and servants were born in my house; and I had abundant possessions of herds and flocks, more than all before me in Jerusalem.
8 I also gathered silver and gold for myself and the abundant treasures of kings and countries. I provided male and female singers for myself, the delights of the sons of men, and male and female cupbearers.
9 So I became great and advanced beyond all before me in Jerusalem; my wisdom established me.
10 Whatever my eyes desired, I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any merriment. For my heart was made glad in all my labor, And this was my portion from all my labor.
11 Then I looked on all the works my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled, And indeed all is vanity And is the choice of one’s spirit. There was no profit under the sun.
Wisdom Excels Foolishness
12 Then I turned myself to consider Wisdom, madness, and foolishness, For who is the man who will follow after counsel, Whatever it is, to do it?
13 Then I saw that wisdom excels foolishness As light excels darkness.†
14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, But the senseless man walks in darkness; And I indeed know That one event happens to all of them.
15 So I said in my heart, “As it happens to the senseless man, So it also happens to me. Why then have I gained abundant wisdom?” Then I said in my heart, “This indeed is also vanity, Because the senseless man speaks of his abundance.”
16 For there is no remembrance forever Of the wise man or of the senseless man, Since now as in the days to come, All things are forgotten. And how will the wise man As well as the senseless man face death?†
17 Thus I have hated life, because the work done under the sun was evil before me; for all is vanity and is the choice of one’s spirit.
18 Then I hated all my labor in which I toiled under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who comes after me.
19 For who knows whether he shall be a wise man or a senseless man? Yet he will have authority over all my labor in which I toiled and wherein I grew wise under the sun. Indeed, this also is vanity.
20 So I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor wherein I toiled under the sun.
21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and courage, yet this man shall give his portion to one who has not labored therein. This also is vanity and a great evil.
22 For what does a man have for all his labor and his purpose of heart wherein he labors under the sun?
23 For all his days are sorrowful, and the distraction of life is his, for even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
24 There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw was from the hand of God.†
25 For who will eat or who will drink without Him?
26 And He gives wisdom, knowledge, and gladness to a man who is good in His sight. But to him who commits sin He gives the job of gathering and collecting, that he may give to the man who is good in God’s sight. This is also vanity and is the choice of one’s spirit.
145 I cry out with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord; I shall search Your ordinances.
146 I cry out to You; save me, And I shall keep Your testimonies.
147 I arose at midnight and cried out; I hoped in Your words.
148 My eyes awoke before dawn That I might meditate on Your teachings.
149 Hear my voice, O Lord, according to Your mercy; Give me life according to Your judgment.
150 Those who persecute me in lawlessness drew near; They are far removed from Your law.
151 You are near, O Lord; All Your commandments are truth.
152 From the beginning I knew Your testimonies, That You established them forever.
153 Behold my humiliation and deliver me, For I have not forgotten Your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me; Give me life because of Your word.
155 Salvation is far from sinners, For they have not searched Your ordinances.
156 Your compassions are many, O Lord; Give me life according to Your judgment.
157 Many are those who pursue and afflict me, But I did not turn away from Your testimonies.
158 I saw those acting foolishly, and I yearned for You; For they did not keep Your teachings.
159 Behold, I love Your commandments; O Lord, in Your mercy, give me life.
160 The beginning of Your words is truth, And all the judgments of Your righteousness are forever.
Proverbs of Solomon 27
Wisdom for Today
1 Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what the next day will bring forth.†
2 Let your neighbor praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.†
3 A stone is heavy, and sand is cumbersome; But the wrath of a man without discernment is heavier than both.†
4 Wrath is merciless and anger passionate, But jealousy supports nothing.
5 Open reproofs are better than hidden love.
6 The wounds of a friend are more trustworthy Than the voluntary kisses of an enemy.
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.†
2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,†
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.†
6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”†
7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”
11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?†
13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.
14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.