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Psalm 49 World English Bible (WEB)

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by the sons of Korah.

49 Hear this, all you peoples.
    Listen, all you inhabitants of the world,
    both low and high,
    rich and poor together.
My mouth will speak words of wisdom.
    My heart shall utter understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb.
    I will open my riddle on the harp.
Why should I fear in the days of evil,
    when iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
Those who trust in their wealth,
    and boast in the multitude of their riches—
    none of them can by any means redeem his brother,
    nor give God a ransom for him.
For the redemption of their life is costly,
    no payment is ever enough,
    That he should live on forever,
    that he should not see corruption.
10 For he sees that wise men die;
    likewise the fool and the senseless perish,
    and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their inward thought is that their houses will endure forever,
    and their dwelling places to all generations.
    They name their lands after themselves.
12 But man, despite his riches, doesn’t endure.
    He is like the animals that perish.

13 This is the destiny of those who are foolish,
    and of those who approve their sayings.
14 They are appointed as a flock for Sheol.[a]
    Death shall be their shepherd.
The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning.
    Their beauty shall decay in Sheol,[b]
    far from their mansion.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,[c]
    for he will receive me.
16 Don’t be afraid when a man is made rich,
    when the glory of his house is increased.
17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away.
    His glory shall not descend after him.
18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul—
    and men praise you when you do well for yourself—
19     he shall go to the generation of his fathers.
    They shall never see the light.
20 A man who has riches without understanding,
    is like the animals that perish.


  1. Psalm 49:14 Sheol is the place of the dead.
  2. Psalm 49:14 Sheol is the place of the dead.
  3. Psalm 49:15 Sheol is the place of the dead.
World English Bible (WEB)

by Public Domain. The name "World English Bible" is trademarked.

Psalm 49 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 49[a]

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

Hear this, all you peoples;
    listen, all who live in this world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor alike:
My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
I will turn my ear to a proverb;
    with the harp I will expound my riddle:

Why should I fear when evil days come,
    when wicked deceivers surround me—
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of their great riches?
No one can redeem the life of another
    or give to God a ransom for them—
the ransom for a life is costly,
    no payment is ever enough—
so that they should live on forever
    and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die,
    that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
    leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses[b] forever,
    their dwellings for endless generations,
    though they had[c] named lands after themselves.

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
    they are like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
    and of their followers, who approve their sayings.[d]
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
    death will be their shepherd
    (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
    far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
    he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
    when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
    their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
    and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
    who will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
    are like the beasts that perish.


  1. Psalm 49:1 In Hebrew texts 49:1-20 is numbered 49:2-21.
  2. Psalm 49:11 Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew In their thoughts their houses will remain
  3. Psalm 49:11 Or generations, / for they have
  4. Psalm 49:13 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 15.
New International Version (NIV)

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