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Psalm 49 English Standard Version (ESV)

Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble?

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

49 Hear this, all peoples!
    Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor together!
My mouth shall speak wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
    I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.

Why should I fear in times of trouble,
    when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of the abundance of their riches?
Truly no man can ransom another,
    or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
    and can never suffice,
that he should live on forever
    and never see the pit.

10 For he sees that even the wise die;
    the fool and the stupid alike must perish
    and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes forever,[a]
    their dwelling places to all generations,
    though they called lands by their own names.
12 Man in his pomp will not remain;
    he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
    yet after them people approve of their boasts.[b] Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
    death shall be their shepherd,
and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.
    Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
    for he will receive me. Selah

16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
    when the glory of his house increases.
17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
    his glory will not go down after him.
18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed
    —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—
19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers,
    who will never again see light.
20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.


  1. Psalm 49:11 Septuagint, Syriac, Targum; Hebrew Their inward thought was that their homes were forever
  2. Psalm 49:13 Or and of those after them who approve of their boasts
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Tehillim 49 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

49 (For the one directing. A Mizmor for the Bnei Korach). Hear this, kol HaAmim; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the cheled (world, duration):

(3) Bnei Adam and bnei ish, ashir (rich) and evyon (poor) alike,

(4) My mouth shall speak chochmot; and the meditation of my lev tevunot (understanding).

(5) I will incline mine ear to a mashal; I will disclose my dark saying upon the kinnor (harp).

(6) Why should I fear in the days of rah, when the avon (iniquity) of my akev (supplanters, deceivers) surrounds me?

(7) They that trust in their chayil (wealth), and boast themselves in the rov of their oshir (riches);

(8) A brother cannot by any means redeem ish (man), nor give to Elohim a kofer (ransom) for him—

(9) For the pidyon [ransom] of their nefesh is costly, and is forever beyond their power to pay—

(10) That he should live on lanetzach, and not see shachat (corruption, decay, the pit [cf Psa16:10]).

10 (11) For he seeth that chachamim die, likewise the kesil (foolish) and the ba’ar (brutish, senseless person, dolt) perish, and leave their chayil (wealth) to others.

11 (12) Their inward thought is, that their batim (houses) shall continue l’olam and their mishkenot (dwelling places) l’odor vador; though they call their lands by their shmot (names).

12 (13) Nevertheless adam in his pomp endureth not; he is like the behemot (beasts) that perish.

13 (14) This is their derech, kesel (folly, imprudent confidence) is theirs; and the fate after them of those who approve their words.

14 (15) Like tzon they are destined for She’ol; mavet shall pasture them; and the yesharim (upright ones) shall have dominion over them in the boker; and their tzir (form) shall waste away to Sheol, so there is no dwelling place for it.

15 (16) But Elohim will redeem my nefesh from the yad (hand, power) of Sheol; for He shall receive me. Selah.

16 (17) Be not thou afraid when one is made an ish oishir, when the kavod of his bais is increased;

17 (18) For in his mot (death), he shall carry nothing away; his kavod (glory, wealth) shall not descend after him.

18 (19) Though his nefesh during his life yevarech (he blessed)—for they praise thee when thou doest well for thyself—

19 (20) He shall go to the dor (generation) of his avot; they shall never see ohr (light).

20 (21) Adam that is in his pomp, and understandeth not, is like the behemot (beasts) that perish.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International

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