Psalm 49
Contemporary English Version

(A psalm by the clan of Korah and for the music leader.)

Don't Depend on Wealth

1Everyone on this earth,

now listen to what I say!

2Listen, no matter who you are,

rich or poor.

3I speak words of wisdom,

and my thoughts make sense.

4I have in mind a mystery

that I will explain

while playing my harp.

5Why should I be afraid

in times of trouble,

when I am surrounded

by vicious enemies?

6They trust in their riches

and brag about

all their wealth.

7You cannot buy back your life

or pay off God!

8It costs far too much

to buy back your life.

You can never pay God enough

9to stay alive forever

and safe from death.

10 We see that wise people die,

and so do stupid fools.

Then their money is left

for someone else.

11The grave+ will be their home

forever and ever,

although they once had land

of their own.

12Our human glory disappears,

and, like animals, we die.

13Here is what happens to fools

and to those who trust

the words of fools:+

14They are like sheep

with death as their shepherd,

leading them to the grave.

In the morning God's people

will walk all over them,+

as their bodies lie rotting

in their home, the grave.

15But God will rescue me

from the power of death.

16Don't let it bother you

when others get rich

and live in luxury.

17Soon they will die

and all their wealth

will be left behind.

18We humans are praised

when we do well,

and all of us are glad

to be alive.

19But we each will go down

to our ancestors,

never again to see

the light of day.

20Our human glory disappears,

and, like animals, we die.


49.11 The grave: Some ancient translations; Hebrew “Their inward thoughts.”
49.13 and to those … fools: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
49.14 as their shepherd … over them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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