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Why Should I Fear in Days of Evil?

For the choir director. Of the sons of Korah. A Psalm.

49 (A)Hear this, all peoples;
Give ear, all (B)inhabitants of the world,
Both [a](C)low and [b]high,
Rich and poor together.
My mouth will (D)speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart will be (E)discernment.
I will incline my ear to (F)a proverb;
(G)I will [c]express my (H)riddle on the harp.

Why should I (I)fear in days of evil,
When the iniquity of my [d]supplanters surrounds me,
Even those who (J)trust in their wealth
And boast in the abundance of their riches?
Truly, no man can (K)redeem his brother;
He cannot give to God a (L)ransom for him—
For (M)the redemption price for their soul is costly,
And it ceases forever—
That he should (N)live on eternally,
That he should not (O)see [e]corruption.

10 For he sees that even (P)wise men die;
The [f](Q)fool and the senseless alike perish
And (R)leave their wealth to others.
11 Their [g](S)inner thought is that their houses (T)are forever
And their dwelling places [h]from generation to generation;
They have (U)called their lands after their own names.
12 But (V)man in his honor will not endure;
He is like the animals that [i]perish.

13 This is the (W)way of those who are foolish,
And of those after them who (X)are pleased [j]with their words. [k]Selah.
14 As sheep they are appointed (Y)for Sheol;
Death will shepherd them;
And the (Z)upright shall have dominion over them in the morning,
And their form shall be for Sheol (AA)to consume,
Far away from his habitation.
15 But God will (AB)redeem my soul from the [l]power of Sheol,
For (AC)He will receive me. Selah.

16 Do not be afraid (AD)when a man becomes rich,
When the [m]glory of his house increases;
17 For when he dies he will not (AE)take any of it;
His [n]glory will not descend after him.
18 For while he lives he (AF)blesses his soul—
And men will praise you when you do well for yourself—
19 But his soul shall (AG)go to the generation of his fathers;
They will eternally not see (AH)light.
20 (AI)Man in his honor, but who does not understand,
Is (AJ)like the animals that [o]perish.


  1. Psalm 49:2 Lit sons of men
  2. Psalm 49:2 Lit sons of men of rank
  3. Psalm 49:4 Lit open up
  4. Psalm 49:5 One who grabs the heel; one who cheats
  5. Psalm 49:9 Or the pit
  6. Psalm 49:10 One who fails in wisdom due to willful sin
  7. Psalm 49:11 Some versions graves are their houses
  8. Psalm 49:11 Lit to
  9. Psalm 49:12 Lit are destroyed
  10. Psalm 49:13 Lit in their mouths
  11. Psalm 49:13 Selah may mean Pause, Crescendo, Musical Interlude
  12. Psalm 49:15 Lit hand
  13. Psalm 49:16 Or wealth
  14. Psalm 49:17 Or wealth
  15. Psalm 49:20 Lit are destroyed