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Psalms Chapter 49 - New International Version

1. Psalm 49 For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

1. Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world,

2. both low and high, rich and poor alike:

3. My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding.

4. I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle:

5. Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me--

6. those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?

7. No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him--

8. the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough--

9. that he should live on forever and not see decay.

10. For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others.

11. Their tombs will remain their houses [2] forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had [1] named lands after themselves.

12. But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is [3] like the beasts that perish.

13. This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings.

14. Like sheep they are destined for the grave, [5] and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, [4] far from their princely mansions.

15. But God will redeem my life [6] from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.

16. Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases;

17. for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him.

18. Though while he lived he counted himself blessed-- and men praise you when you prosper--

19. he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light [of life].

20. A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

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Footnotes
  • 1: Or befits; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  • 2: Or made atonement for
  • 3: Or for that is how you prepare the land
  • 4: Or prepare the way for him who rides through the deserts
  • 5: Or the desolate in a homeland
  • 6: Or saddlebags

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