Psalms 49

The Evanescence of Wealth

For the choirmaster. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor alike. My mouth will impart wisdom, and the meditation of my heart will bring understanding. I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will express my riddle with the harp: Why should I fear in times of trouble, when wicked usurpers surround me? They trust in their wealth and boast in great riches. No man can possibly redeem his brother or pay his ransom to God. For the redemption of his soul is costly, and never can payment suffice, that he should live on forever and not see decay. 10  For it is clear that wise men die, and the foolish and the senseless both perish and leave their wealth to others. 11  Their graves
LXX, Syriac, Targum; Hebrew Their inward thoughts
are their eternal homes— their dwellings for endless generations— even though [their] lands were their namesakes.
12  But a man, despite his wealth, cannot endure; he is like the beasts that perish. 13  This is the fate of the self-confident and their followers who endorse their sayings. Selah 14  Like 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. 15  But God will redeem my life from Sheol, for He will surely take me to Himself. Selah 16  Do not be amazed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases. 17  For when he dies, he will carry nothing away; his abundance will not follow him down. 18  Though in his lifetime he blesses his soul— and men praise you when you prosper 19  he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light of day. 20  A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
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