Psalms 49:8

8 the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—

Psalms 49:8 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
English Standard Version (ESV)
8 for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice,
New Living Translation (NLT)
8 Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough
The Message Bible (MSG)
8 The cost of rescue is beyond our means, and even then it doesn't guarantee
American Standard Version (ASV)
8 (For the redemption of their life is costly, And it faileth for ever;)
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
8 The price to be paid for his soul is too costly. He must always give up
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
8 since the price of redeeming him is too costly, one should forever stop trying-
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
8 The price for a life is very high. No payment is ever enough.

Psalms 49:8 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 49:8

For the redemption of their soul [is] precious
Or "heavy" {s}; it is, as Jarchi observes, "heavier than their substance": it is too weighty a matter for the richest man in the world to engage in; he is not equal to it; his riches are not an equivalent to the redemption of a soul which has sinned, and which is of more worth than the whole world: "what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" or another for him? all the substance of his house would be utterly despised. It requires a greater price for the redemption of it than gold and silver, and therefore it is impossible to be obtained by any such means; and which may be the sense of the word here, as Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it; and so it is used for that which is "rare", "difficult", yea, "impossible", not to be found or come at, in ( 1 Samuel 3:1 ) ( Daniel 2:10 Daniel 2:11 ) . The only price of redemption of the soul is the precious blood of Christ; his life is the ransom price, yea, he himself, ( 1 Peter 1:18 1 Peter 1:19 ) ( Matthew 20:28 ) ( 1 Timothy 2:6 ) ; nor is the redemption of the soul possible upon any other ground;

and it ceaseth for ever;
that is, the redemption of the soul; it must have ceased, it could never have been accomplished, had not Christ undertook it and performed it; he has obtained eternal redemption, and in him we have it, and in no other. Or the words may be rendered, "and he ceaseth for ever"; the brother, whose soul or life is to be redeemed, he dies; see ( Psalms 12:1 ) ; and dies the second and eternal death, for aught his brother can do for him, with all his riches: or he that attempts to redeem him, "he leaves off for ever" F20; see ( Psalms 36:3 ) ; whether he will or not, as Jarchi observes; he ceases from redeeming his brother; he finds he cannot do it; his endeavours are vain and fruitless. Some join and connect these words with the following, "and it ceaseth for ever, that he should still live for ever" that is, it is impossible that such an one by such means should live for ever. Gussetius F21 renders and interprets the words quite to another sense, "but the redemption of their soul shall come": the true redemption price by Christ; and which, being once paid and perfectly done, "ceaseth for ever", and shall never be required more; so that he for whom it is made "shall live for ever", as in ( Psalms 49:9 ) , which is a truly evangelic sense.


F19 (rqy) "gravis", De Dieu, Michaelis.
F20 (ldx) "definet", Montanus, Vatablus.
F21 Ebr. Comment. p. 345.

Psalms 49:8 In-Context

6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?
7 No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—
8 the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—
9 so that they should live on forever and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others.

Cross References 2

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