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Psalm 49

For the choir director; a psalm by Korah’s descendants.

Listen to this, all you people.
    Open your ears, all who live in the world—
common people and important ones,
    rich people and poor ones.
My mouth will speak wise sayings,
    the insights I have carefully considered.
I will turn my attention to a proverb.
    I will explain my riddle with the music of a lyre.
Why should I be afraid in times of trouble,
    when slanderers surround me with evil?
        They trust their riches
            and brag about their abundant wealth.

No one can ever buy back another person
    or pay Elohim a ransom for his life.
        The price to be paid for his soul is too costly.
            He must always give up
in order to live forever and never see the pit.

10 Indeed, one can see that wise people die,
    that foolish and stupid people meet the same end.
        They leave their riches to others.
11 Although they named their lands after themselves,
    their graves[a] have become their homes for ages to come,
        their dwelling places throughout every generation.

12 But mortals will not continue here with what they treasure.
    They are like animals that die.

13 This is the final outcome for fools and their followers
    who are delighted by what they say: Selah
14 Like sheep, they are driven to hell
    with death as their shepherd.
        (Decent people will rule them in the morning.)
        Their forms will decay in the grave,
            far away from their comfortable homes.
15 But Elohim will buy me back from the power of hell
    because he will take me. Selah
16 Do not be afraid when someone becomes rich,
    when the greatness of his house increases.
17 He will not take anything with him when he dies.
    His greatness cannot follow him.
18 Even though he blesses himself while he is alive
    (and they praise you when you do well for yourself),
19 he must join the generation of his ancestors,
    who will never see light again.

20 Mortals, with what they treasure, still don’t have understanding.
    They are like animals that die.


  1. Psalm 49:11 Greek, Syriac, Targum; Masoretic Text “their insides.”

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