Psalm 49

The Evanescence of Wealth
(Ecclesiastes 5:8–20)

For the choirmaster. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

1Hear this, all you peoples;

listen, all inhabitants of the world,

2both low and high,

rich and poor alike.

3My mouth will impart wisdom,

and the meditation of my heart will bring understanding.

4I will incline my ear to a proverb;

I will express my riddle with the harp:

5Why should I fear in times of trouble,

when wicked usurpers surround me?

6They trust in their wealth

and boast in their great riches.

7No man can possibly redeem his brothera

or pay his ransom to God.

8For the redemption of his soul is costly,

and never can payment suffice,

9that he should live on forever

and not see decay.

10For it is clear that wise men die,

and the foolish and the senseless both perish

and leave their wealth to others.

11Their gravesb are their eternal homes—

their dwellings for endless generations—

even though their lands were their namesakes.

12But a man, despite his wealth, cannot endure;

he is like the beasts that perish.

13This is the fate of the self-confidentc

and their followers who endorse their sayings.


14Like sheep they are destined for Sheol.

Death will be their shepherd.

The upright will rule them in the morning,

and their form will decay in Sheol,

far from their lofty abode.

15But God will redeem my life from Sheol,

for He will surely take me to Himself.


16Do not be amazed when a man grows rich,

when the splendor of his house increases.

17For when he dies, he will carry nothing away;

his abundance will not follow him down.

18Though in his lifetime he blesses his soul—

and men praise you when you prosper—

19he will join the generation of his fathers,

who will never see the light of day.

20A man who has riches without understanding

is like the beasts that perish.

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Psalm 48
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