Psalms 49:12

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure; they are like the beasts that perish.

Psalms 49:12 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
English Standard Version (ESV)
12 Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
New Living Translation (NLT)
12 but their fame will not last. They will die, just like animals.
The Message Bible (MSG)
12 We aren't immortal. We don't last long. Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.
American Standard Version (ASV)
12 But man [being] in honor abideth not: He is like the beasts that perish.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
12 But mortals will not continue here with what they treasure. They are like animals that die.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
12 But despite [his] assets, man will not last; he is like the animals that perish.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
12 Even though people may be very rich, they don't live on and on. They are like the animals. They die.

Psalms 49:12 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 49:12

Nevertheless man [being] in honour abideth not
Or Adam: and some understand this of the first man Adam, who was created and crowned with glory and honour; but it did not abide with him, nor he in that: so some Jewish writers F25 interpret it. But whether the words will admit of this sense or not, the general view of the psalmist, which is to show the inconstancy and instability of worldly honour, may be exemplified in the case of the first man; he was in honour he was created after the image and likeness of God, and so was the glory of God, being his image; he was in friendship with God, as many instances show, and had dominion over all the creatures below; he had much knowledge of God, and communion with him, and was a pure, holy, and upright creature; but he continued not long in this state of honour and glory; "he lodged not a night" F26, as the words may be rendered; see ( Genesis 28:11 ) ; and as they are by some, who conclude from hence that Adam fell the same day in which he was created; and which is the sense of the above Jewish writers, who say, he was driven out of paradise the evening of that day; but though he might stand longer, and the word is sometimes used of a longer continuance; see ( Psalms 25:13 ) ; yet by the account in Genesis it looks as if he continued in his state of honour but a short time;

he is like the beasts [that] perish;
becoming mortal in his body, and brutish and stupid in his understanding. Or, "he is like the beasts", "they perish", or "[are] cut off" F1; the word being in the plural number, which shows that not a single individual person is meant, but men in general; or, however, such of the sons of Adam that come to honour; these do not abide long in it, their honour is a very short lived one, sometimes it does not last their lives: they that are in high places are in slippery ones, and are often cast down from the pinnacle of honour in a moment; and if their glory does abide with them throughout the day of life, yet it shall not lodge with them in the night of the grave; thither their glory shall not descend after them, ( Psalms 49:17 ) ; and when they die, they perish like the beasts; as they are like them in life, stupid, brutish, and ignorant, so in death; as the beast dies, so do they, ( Ecclesiastes 3:19 ) ; as the one dies without any thought of or preparation for death, so do the other; as the one carries nothing along with it, so neither do the other: as beasts that die of themselves, for such are here meant, as Junius well observes, are good for nothing but to be cast into the ditch; so are wicked men, notwithstanding all their riches and honours; yea, it is worse with them than with the beasts, since after death comes judgment, and after that the second death, the wrath of God.


F25 Bereshit Rabba, s. 11. fol. 9. 1. 2. Pirke Eliezer, c. 19.
F26 (Nyly lb) "non pernoctabit", Montanus, Amama; so Ainsworth.
F1 (wmdn) "excisi sunt", Montanus.

Psalms 49:12 In-Context

10 For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves.
12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure; they are 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 They are like sheep and are destined to die; death will be their shepherd (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning). Their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions.

Cross References 2

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