Psalm 49
Holman Christian Standard Bible

Misplaced Trust in Wealth

For the choir director. A psalm of the sons of Korah.

1Hear this, all you peoples;

listen, all who inhabit the world,a

2both low and high,b

rich and poor together.c

3My mouth speaks wisdom;

my heart’s meditation brings understanding.d

4I turn my ear to a proverb;

I explain my riddle with a lyre.e

5Why should I fear in times of trouble?

The iniquity of my foes surrounds me.f

6They trust in their wealth

and boast of their abundant riches.g

7Yet these cannot redeem a personh

or pay his ransom to Godi —

8since the price of redeeming him is too costly,

one should forever stop tryingj, k —

9so that he may live forever

and not see the Pit.l

10For one can see that wise men die;

foolish and stupid men also pass away.m

Then they leave their wealth to others.n

11Their graves are their eternal homes,o

their homes from generation to generation,

though they have named estates after themselves.p

12But despite his assets,q man will not last;

he is like the animals that perish.r

13This is the way of those who are arrogant,

and of their followers,

who approve of their words.s, tSelah

14Like sheep they are headed for Sheol;

Death will shepherd them.

The upright will rule over them in the morning,u

and their form will waste away in Sheol,v

far from their lofty abode.w

15But God will redeem my life

from the power of Sheol,

for He will take me.xSelah

16Do not be afraid when a man gets rich,

when the wealthy of his house increases.z

17For when he dies, he will take nothing at all;

his wealthaa will not follow him down.ab

18Though he praises himself during his lifetime —

and people praise you when you do well for yourselfac —

19he will go to the generation of his fathers;

they will never see the light.ad

20A man with valuable possessionsae

but without understanding

is like the animals that perish.af


Footnotes:
a. 49:1 Ps 78:1; Mc 1:2
b. 49:2 Lit both sons of Adam and sons of man
c. 49:2 Ps 62:9
d. 49:3 Ps 37:30
e. 49:4 Nm 12:8; Mt 13:35
f. 49:5 Ps 23:4; 27:1
g. 49:6 Jb 31:24; Ps 52:7; Pr 11:28
h. 49:7 Or Certainly he cannot redeem himself, or Yet he cannot redeem a brother
i. 49:7 Jb 36:18-19; Mt 25:8-9
j. 49:8 Or costly, it will cease forever
k. 49:8 Mt 16:26
l. 49:9 Jb 33:28; Ps 16:10
m. 49:10 Ec 2:16
n. 49:10 Ps 39:6; Ec 2:18-19; Lk 12:20
o. 49:11 LXX, Syr, Tg; MT reads Their inner thought is that their houses are eternal
p. 49:11 Ps 5:9; 10:6
q. 49:12 Or honor
r. 49:12 Ec 3:19
s. 49:13 Lit and after them with their mouth they were pleased
t. 49:13 Ps 31:23; Pr 16:18; 21:24
u. 49:14 Rv 2:26
v. 49:14 Hb obscure
w. 49:14 Jb 24:19; Ps 9:17
x. 49:15 Ps 16:10; 56:13; Hs 13:14
y. 49:16 Or glory
z. 49:16 Ps 37:7
aa. 49:17 Or glory
ab. 49:17 Jb 27:19; Ps 17:14; 1Tm 6:7
ac. 49:18 Dt 29:19; Ps 10:3,6
ad. 49:19 Gn 15:15; Jb 33:30; Ps 56:13
ae. 49:20 Or with honor
af. 49:20 Ec 3:19
Psalm 48
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