Hear1 this, all you peoples;2 listen, all who live in this world,32
both low and high,4 rich and poor alike:
My mouth will speak words of wisdom;5 the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.64
I will turn my ear to a proverb;7 with the harp8 I will expound my riddle:95
Why should I fear10 when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me--
those who trust in their wealth11 and boast12 of their great riches?137
No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a sufficient ransom--
the ransom14 for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough--159
so that someone should live on16 forever and not see decay.1710
For all can see that the wise die,18 that the foolish and the senseless19 also perish, leaving their wealth20 to others.2111
Their tombs22 will remain their housesa forever, their dwellings for endless generations,23 though they hadb named24 lands after themselves.
Human beings, despite their wealth, do not endure;25 they are like the beasts that perish.2613
This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,27 and of their followers, who approve their sayings.c14
They are like sheep and are destined28 to die;29 death will be their shepherd (but the upright will prevail30 over them in the morning). Their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions.
But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;31 he will surely take me to himself.3216
Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases;
for they will take nothing33 with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them.3418
Though while they live they count themselves blessed--35 and people praise you when you prosper--
they will join those who have gone before them,36 who will never again see the light37 of life.
Human beings who have wealth but lack understanding38 are like the beasts that perish.39