PSALM 49 OVERVIEW
Title. To the Chief Musician, a Psalm for the sons of Korah. This is precisely the same as on former occasions, and no remark is needed.
Division. The poet musician sings, to the accompaniment of his harp, the despicable character of those who trust in their wealth, and so he consoles the oppressed believer. The first four verses are a preface; from Psalms 49:5-12 all fear of great oppressors is removed by the remembrance of their end and their folly; Psalms 49:13 contains an expression of wonder at the perpetuity of folly; Psalms 49:14-15 contrast the ungodly and the righteous in their future; and from Psalms 49:16-20 the lesson from the whole is given in an admonitory form. Note the chorus in Psalms 49:2 Psalms 49:20 , and also the two Selahs.
Verse 1-4. In these four verses the poet prophet calls universal humanity to listen to his didactic hymn.
Verse 1. Hear this, all ye people. All men are concerned in the subject, it is of them, and therefore to them that the psalmist would speak. It is not a topic which men delight to consider, and therefore he who would instruct them must press them to give ear. Where, as in this case, the theme claims to be wisdom and understanding, attention is very properly demanded; and when the style combines the sententiousness of the proverb with the sweetness of poesy, interest is readily excited. Give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world. "He that hath ears to hear let him hear." Men dwelling in all climes are equally concerned in the subject, for the laws of providence are the same in all lands. It is wise for each one to feel I am a man, and therefore everything which concerns mortals has a personal interest to me. We must all appear before the judgment seat, and therefore we all should give earnest heed to holy admonition which may help us to prepare for that dread event. He who refuses to receive instruction by the ear, will not be able to escape receiving destruction by it when the Judge shall say, "Depart, ye cursed."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Whole Psalm. Strange it is that two Psalms so near together, as this and the forty-fifth should, and should alone imitate, or be the forerunners of, two works of David's son; this - - Ecclesiastes, the former -- the Canticles. J. M. Neale.
Verse 1. None.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS