Psalms 49:16

16 Do not be afraid when a man gets rich, when the wealth[a] of his house increases.

Psalms 49:16 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 49:16

Be not thou afraid when one is made rich
Who before was poor, or not so rich; but now become so, either by inheritance, or by his own diligence and industry, through the permission of Providence. This is to be understood, not of a good man, from whom oppression is not to be feared; but it may be hoped he will do good with his riches, by relieving the poor, and ministering to the support of the interest of religion, and using what power and authority he may have in defence of it: but it is to be interpreted of a wicked man; of one who neither fears God, nor regards man; who makes an ill use of his riches, power, and authority, to the oppression of the poor, and the persecution of the saints, and who seeks to be feared when he is not loved; see ( Proverbs 28:12 Proverbs 28:28 ) ( 29:2 ) ; but the people of God should not be afraid when this is the case, since God is their strength, their light, and their salvation; and since wicked men can go no further than permitted, and at most can do no more than kill the body; see ( Psalms 27:1-3 ) ( Matthew 10:28 ) ; these words are an apostrophe of the psalmist, either to his own soul, or to the saints, and every particular believer;

when the glory of his house is increased;
either the same with riches, so called, ( Genesis 31:1 ) ( Revelation 21:24 Revelation 21:26 ) ; because men are apt to glory in them, and for the most part obtain honour and glory from men by them; or children, and an increase of them, and especially when they come to honour; as also the advancement of themselves to high places of honour and trust; as well as additional buildings, large stately edifices, to make them look great, and perpetuate their names.

Psalms 49:16 In-Context

14 Like sheep they are headed for Sheol; Death will shepherd them. The upright will rule over them in the morning, and their form will waste away in Sheol, far from their lofty abode.
15 But God will redeem my life from the power of Sheol, for He will take me. Selah
16 Do not be afraid when a man gets rich, when the wealth of his house increases.
17 For when he dies, he will take nothing at all; his wealth will not follow him down.
18 Though he praises himself during his lifetime- and people praise you when you do well for yourself-

Footnotes 1

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