For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
1 Listen to this, all you people! Pay attention, everyone in the world! 2 High and low, rich and poor—listen! 3 For my words are wise, and my thoughts are filled with insight. 4 I listen carefully to many proverbs and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.
5 Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me? 6 They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. 7 Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death[a] by paying a ransom to God. 8 Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough 9 to live forever and never see the grave.
10 Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind. 11 The grave[b] is their eternal home, where they will stay forever. They may name their estates after themselves, 12 but their fame will not last. They will die, just like animals. 13 This is the fate of fools, though they are remembered as being wise.[c]Interlude
14 Like sheep, they are led to the grave,[d] where death will be their shepherd. In the morning the godly will rule over them. Their bodies will rot in the grave, far from their grand estates. 15 But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Interlude
16 So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid. 17 For when they die, they take nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. 18 In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success. 19 But they will die like all before them and never again see the light of day. 20 People who boast of their wealth don’t understand; they will die, just like animals.
49:7Some Hebrew manuscripts read no one can redeem the life of another.
49:11As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads Their inward [thought].
16 Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia.2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.3 When I come, I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem.4 And if it seems appropriate for me to go along, they can travel with me.
Paul’s Final Instructions
5 I am coming to visit you after I have been to Macedonia,[a] for I am planning to travel through Macedonia.6 Perhaps I will stay awhile with you, possibly all winter, and then you can send me on my way to my next destination.7 This time I don’t want to make just a short visit and then go right on. I want to come and stay awhile, if the Lord will let me.8 In the meantime, I will be staying here at Ephesus until the Festival of Pentecost.9 There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.
10 When Timothy comes, don’t intimidate him. He is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am.11 Don’t let anyone treat him with contempt. Send him on his way with your blessing when he returns to me. I expect him to come with the other believers.[b]
12 Now about our brother Apollos—I urged him to visit you with the other believers, but he was not willing to go right now. He will see you later when he has the opportunity.
13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.[c] Be strong.14 And do everything with love.
15 You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece,[d] and they are spending their lives in service to God’s people. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters,[e]16 to submit to them and others like them who serve with such devotion.17 I am very glad that Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus have come here. They have been providing the help you weren’t here to give me.18 They have been a wonderful encouragement to me, as they have been to you. You must show your appreciation to all who serve so well.
Paul’s Final Greetings
19 The churches here in the province of Asia[f] send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla[g] and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings.20 All the brothers and sisters here send greetings to you. Greet each other with a sacred kiss.
21 HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come![h]
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