For the [music] director. Of the sons of Korah. A psalm.

Wealth and the Fate of the Wicked

1 Hear this, all [you] peoples; give ear, all [you] inhabitants of [the] world,
References for Psalms 49:1
    • a 49:1 - The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
      2 both low and high, rich and poor together.
      3 My mouth will speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart [will be] understanding.
      4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will {propound} my riddle on a lyre.
      References for Psalms 49:4
        • b 49:4 - Literally "open"
          5 Why should I fear in {times of calamity}, [when] iniquity surrounds me at my heels,
          References for Psalms 49:5
            • c 49:5 - Literally "the days of evil"
              6 those who trust their wealth and boast about the abundance of their riches?
              7 Surely a man cannot redeem a brother. He cannot give to God his ransom
              8 (since the redemption price for their life is costly and it always fails),
              References for Psalms 49:8
                • d 49:8 - Hebrew "and"
                  9 so that he may stay alive forever [and] not see the pit.
                  10 For he sees [that] the wise die, together [with the] fool and brute they perish, and leave their wealth to the next [generation].
                  11 Within them [they think] their houses [are] forever, their dwelling places from generation to generation. They {name} [their] lands by their [own] names.
                  References for Psalms 49:11
                    • e 49:11 - Literally "call"
                      12 But man cannot continue in [his] pomp. He is like the beasts [that] perish.
                      13 This [is] the journey [of those who] have foolish [confidence], and those after them [who] accept their sayings. Selah
                      References for Psalms 49:13
                          14 Like sheep they are destined to Sheol; death will shepherd them. But the upright will rule over them in the morning, and their forms [will be for] Sheol to consume, [far from] his lofty abode.
                          15 Surely God will ransom my life from the {power} of Sheol, because he will receive me. Selah
                          References for Psalms 49:15
                            • g 49:15 - Literally "hand"
                              16 Do not fear when a man becomes rich, when the wealth of his house increases,
                              References for Psalms 49:16
                                  17 because when he dies he will not take [away] any [of it]. His wealth will not follow down after him.
                                  18 Though he congratulated his soul while he was living --and [people] will praise you when you do well for yourself--
                                  19 it will go to the generation of his fathers. Never will they see light.
                                  References for Psalms 49:19
                                    • i 49:19 - That is, his soul
                                      20 Humankind in [its] pomp, but does not understand, is like the beasts [that] perish.