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Psalm 49Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Folly of Trusting in Riches.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

49 Hear this, all peoples;
Listen carefully, all inhabitants of the world,

Both low and high,
Rich and poor together:

My mouth will speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart will be understanding.

I will incline my ear and consent to a proverb;
On the lyre I will unfold my riddle.


Why should I fear in the days of evil,
When the wickedness of those who would betray me surrounds me [on every side],

Even those who trust in and rely on their wealth
And boast of the abundance of their riches?

None of them can by any means redeem [either himself or] his brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for him—

For the ransom of his soul is too costly,
And he should cease trying forever—

So that he should live on eternally,
That he should never see the pit (grave) and undergo decay.

10 
For he sees that even wise men die;
The fool and the stupid alike perish
And leave their wealth to others.
11 
Their inward thought is that their houses will continue forever,
And their dwelling places to all generations;
They have named their lands after their own names [ignoring God].
12 
But man, with all his [self] honor and pomp, will not endure;
He is like the beasts that perish.

13 
This is the fate of those who are foolishly confident,
And of those after them who approve [and are influenced by] their words. Selah.
14 
Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead);
Death will be their shepherd;
And the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
And their form and beauty shall [a]be for Sheol to consume,
So that they have no dwelling [on earth].
15 
But God will redeem my life from the power of Sheol,
For He will receive me. Selah.

16 
Be not afraid when [an ungodly] man becomes rich,
When the wealth and glory of his house are increased;
17 
For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
His glory will not descend after him.
18 
Though while he lives he counts himself happy and prosperous—
And though people praise you when you do well for yourself—
19 
He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They shall never again see the light.
20 
A man [who is held] in honor,
Yet who lacks [spiritual] understanding and a teachable heart, is like the beasts that perish.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 49:14 The ancient rabbis read this as “will wear out Sheol,” which also matches the Hebrew, and interpreted it as referring to unending punishment, i.e. punishment even outlasting Gehinnom (hell).
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Psalm 49New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 49[a]

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

Hear this, all you peoples;
    listen, all who live in this world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor alike:
My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
I will turn my ear to a proverb;
    with the harp I will expound my riddle:

Why should I fear when evil days come,
    when wicked deceivers surround me—
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of their great riches?
No one can redeem the life of another
    or give to God a ransom for them—
the ransom for a life is costly,
    no payment is ever enough—
so that they should live on forever
    and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die,
    that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
    leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses[b] forever,
    their dwellings for endless generations,
    though they had[c] named lands after themselves.

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
    they are like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
    and of their followers, who approve their sayings.[d]
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
    death will be their shepherd
    (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
    far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
    he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
    when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
    their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
    and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
    who will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
    are like the beasts that perish.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 49:1 In Hebrew texts 49:1-20 is numbered 49:2-21.
  2. Psalm 49:11 Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew In their thoughts their houses will remain
  3. Psalm 49:11 Or generations, / for they have
  4. Psalm 49:13 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 15.
New International Version (NIV)

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