49 Listen to this, all you people! Pay attention, all you who live in the world, 2 both average people and those of means,[a] the rich and the poor together. 3 My mouth will speak wisely, and I will understand what I think about. 4 I will focus my attention on[b] a proverb; I will use the harp to expound my riddle. 5 Why should I be afraid when evil days come my way, when the wickedness of those who deceive me surrounds me— 6 those who put confidence in their wealth and boast about their great riches? 7 No man can redeem the life of another,[c] nor can he give to God a sufficient payment for him— 8 for it would cost too much to redeem his life, and the payments would go on forever— 9 that he should go on living and not see corruption.
10 Indeed, he will see wise people die; the stupid and the senseless will meet their doom and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their inner thoughts are on[d] their homes forever; their dwellings from generation to generation. They even name their lands after themselves. 12 But humanity cannot last, despite its conceit;[e] it will pass away just like the animals.[f] 13 This is the fate of those who are foolish and of those who correct their words after they speak. Interlude
14 Like sheep, they are destined for the realm of the dead,[g] with death as their shepherd. The upright will have dominion over them in the morning; their strength will be consumed in the afterlife,[h] so that they have no home. 15 God will truly redeem me from the power[i] of Sheol.[j] He will surely receive me! Interlude
16 Don’t be afraid when someone gets rich, when the glory of his household increases. 17 When he dies, he will not be able to take it all with him[k]— his possessions[l] will not follow him to the grave,[m] 18 although he considers himself blessed while he’s alive.
Though people praise you for doing well, 19 you will end up like your[n] ancestors’ generation, never again to see the light of day!
20 Humanity, despite its conceit, does not understand that it will perish, just like the animals.
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