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Psalm 49 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Folly of Trusting in Riches.

For the choir director. 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 will speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart will be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will [a]express my riddle on the harp.

Why should I fear in days of adversity,
When the iniquity of my [b]foes surrounds me,
Even those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the abundance of their riches?
No man can by any means redeem his brother
Or give to God a ransom for him—
For the redemption of [c]his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever—
That he should live on eternally,
That he should not [d]undergo decay.

10 For he sees that even wise men die;
The stupid and the senseless alike perish
And leave their wealth to others.
11 Their [e]inner thought is that their houses are forever
And their dwelling places to all generations;
They have called their lands after their own names.
12 But man in his [f]pomp will not endure;
He is like the [g]beasts that [h]perish.

13 This is the way of those who are foolish,
And of those after them who approve their words. [i]Selah.
14 As sheep they are appointed for [j]Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
And the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
And their form shall be for [k]Sheol to consume
[l]So that they have no habitation.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the [m]power of [n]Sheol,
For He will receive me. Selah.

16 Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich,
When the [o]glory of his house is increased;
17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
His [p]glory will not descend after him.
18 Though while he lives he congratulates [q]himself—
And though men praise you when you do well for yourself—
19 [r]He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They will never see the light.
20 Man in his [s]pomp, yet without understanding,
Is like the [t]beasts that [u]perish.


  1. Psalm 49:4 Lit open up
  2. Psalm 49:5 Lit supplanters
  3. Psalm 49:8 Lit their
  4. Psalm 49:9 Or see corruption or the pit
  5. Psalm 49:11 Some versions read graves are their houses
  6. Psalm 49:12 Lit honor
  7. Psalm 49:12 Or animals
  8. Psalm 49:12 Lit are destroyed
  9. Psalm 49:13 Selah may mean: Pause, Crescendo or Musical interlude
  10. Psalm 49:14 I.e. the nether world
  11. Psalm 49:14 I.e. the nether world
  12. Psalm 49:14 Lit Away from his habitation
  13. Psalm 49:15 Lit hand
  14. Psalm 49:15 I.e. the nether world
  15. Psalm 49:16 Or wealth
  16. Psalm 49:17 Or wealth
  17. Psalm 49:18 Lit his soul
  18. Psalm 49:19 Lit You; or It
  19. Psalm 49:20 Lit honor
  20. Psalm 49:20 Or animals
  21. Psalm 49:20 Lit are destroyed
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Psalm 49 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

49 To the Overseer. -- By sons of Korah. A Psalm. Hear this, all ye peoples, Give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world.

Both low and high, together rich and needy.

My mouth speaketh wise things, And the meditations of my heart [are] things of understanding.

I incline to a simile mine ear, I open with a harp my riddle:

Why do I fear in days of evil? The iniquity of my supplanters doth compass me.

Those trusting on their wealth, And in the multitude of their riches, Do shew themselves foolish.

A brother doth no one at all ransom, He doth not give to God his atonement.

And precious [is] the redemption of their soul, And it hath ceased -- to the age.

And still he liveth for ever, He seeth not the pit.

10 For he seeth wise men die, Together the foolish and brutish perish, And have left to others their wealth.

11 Their heart [is]: Their houses [are] to the age, Their tabernacles to all generations. They proclaimed their names over the lands.

12 And man in honour doth not remain, He hath been like the beasts, they have been cut off.

13 This their way [is] folly for them, And their posterity with their sayings are pleased. Selah.

14 As sheep for Sheol they have set themselves, Death doth afflict them, And the upright rule over them in the morning, And their form [is] for consumption. Sheol [is] a dwelling for him.

15 Only, God doth ransom my soul from the hand of Sheol, For He doth receive me. Selah.

16 Fear not, when one maketh wealth, When the honour of his house is abundant,

17 For at his death he receiveth nothing, His honour goeth not down after him.

18 For his soul in his life he blesseth, (And they praise thee when thou dost well for thyself.)

19 It cometh to the generation of his fathers, For ever they see not the light.

20 Man in honour, who understandest not, Hath been like the beasts, they have been cut off!

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