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Rich and Poor Alike

Psalm 49

For the music director: a psalm of the sons of Korah.
Hear this, all you peoples.
Give ear, all you inhabitants of the world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor together.
My mouth speaks wisdom,
My heart’s meditation is understanding.
I will turn my ear to a proverb.
I will utter my riddle on the harp:
Why should I fear in evil days?
when the iniquity of my deceivers surrounds me?
Or those trusting in their wealth,
boasting about their great riches?
No man can redeem his brother,
or give to God a ransom for him.
For the redemption of a soul is costly—
so, one should stop trying forever.
10 Will he live forever—
and never see the Pit?
11 Surely he must see, even wise men die.
The fool and the brutish will alike perish,
leaving their wealth to others.[a]
12 Their inward thought is:
Their houses are eternal,
their dwellings for generation after generation.
They name their lands after themselves.
13 But the pompous man will not endure—
he is like the beasts that perish.
14 Such is the way of the self-confident,
and their followers who approve their sayings. Selah

15 Like sheep they are destined for Sheol.
Death will be their shepherd
and the upright will rule over them in the morning.
Their image will decay in Sheol
    far from its lofty place.
16 But God redeems my soul from the power of Sheol
for He receives me. Selah
17 Do not be afraid when a man gets rich,
when his house’s splendor increases.
18 For when he dies he takes nothing away.
His splendor will not follow him down.
19 Though during his life he congratulates himself,
and men praise you when you do well for yourself—
20 He will still join his fathers’ company,
who will never see the light.
21 A pompous man, without understanding—
he is like the beasts that perish.