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Psalm 49 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Confidence of the Foolish

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

49 Hear this, all peoples;
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
Both low and high,
Rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will disclose my [a]dark saying on the harp.

Why should I fear in the days of evil,
When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me?
Those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the multitude of their riches,
None of them can by any means redeem his brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for him—
For the redemption of their souls is costly,
And it shall cease forever—
That he should continue to live eternally,
And not [b]see the Pit.

10 For he sees wise men die;
Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish,
And leave their wealth to others.
11 [c]Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever,
Their dwelling places to all generations;
They call their lands after their own names.
12 Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not [d]remain;
He is like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the way of those who are foolish,
And of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah
14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave;
Death shall feed on them;
The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning;
And their beauty shall be consumed in [e]the grave, far from their dwelling.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of [f]the grave,
For He shall receive me. Selah

16 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich,
When the glory of his house is increased;
17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away;
His glory shall not descend after him.
18 Though while he lives he blesses himself
(For men will praise you when you do well for yourself),
19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They shall never see light.[g]
20 A man who is in honor, yet does not understand,
Is like the beasts that perish.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 49:4 riddle
  2. Psalm 49:9 experience corruption
  3. Psalm 49:11 LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. Their graves shall be their houses forever
  4. Psalm 49:12 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Syr., Vg. understand (cf. v. 20)
  5. Psalm 49:14 Or Sheol
  6. Psalm 49:15 Or Sheol
  7. Psalm 49:19 The light of life
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 49 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Foolishness of Trusting in Riches.

For the music director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

49 Hear this, all peoples;
Listen, all inhabitants of the world,
Both low and high,
Rich and poor together.
My mouth will speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart will be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will [a]express my riddle on the harp.

Why should I fear in days of adversity,
When the injustice of those who betray me surrounds me,
Those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the abundance of their riches?
No one can by any means redeem another
Or give God a ransom for him—
For the redemption of [b]his soul is priceless,
And he should cease imagining forever—
That he might live on eternally,
That he might not [c]undergo decay.

10 For he sees that even wise people die;
The foolish and the stupid alike perish
And leave their wealth to others.
11 Their [d]inner thought is that their houses are forever
And their dwelling places to all generations;
They have named their lands after their own names.
12 But man in his splendor will not endure;
He is like the animals that [e]perish.

13 This is the way of those who are foolish,
And of those after them who approve their words. Selah
14 Like sheep they sink down to [f]Sheol;
Death will be their shepherd;
And the upright will rule over them in the morning,
And their form shall be for [g]Sheol to consume
[h]So that they have no lofty home.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the [i]power of [j]Sheol,
For He will receive me. Selah

16 Do not be afraid when a person becomes rich,
When the splendor of his house is increased;
17 For when he dies, he will take nothing with him;
His [k]wealth will not descend after him.
18 Though while he lives he congratulates [l]himself—
And though people praise you when you do well for yourself—
19 [m]He will go to the generation of his fathers;
They will never see the light.
20 Mankind in its splendor, yet without understanding,
Is like the animals that [n]perish.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 49:4 Lit open up
  2. Psalm 49:8 Lit their
  3. Psalm 49:9 Or see corruption; lit see the pit
  4. Psalm 49:11 Some ancient versions graves are their houses
  5. Psalm 49:12 Lit are destroyed
  6. Psalm 49:14 I.e., the netherworld
  7. Psalm 49:14 I.e., the netherworld
  8. Psalm 49:14 Lit Away from his habitation
  9. Psalm 49:15 Lit hand
  10. Psalm 49:15 I.e., the netherworld
  11. Psalm 49:17 Lit glory
  12. Psalm 49:18 Lit his soul
  13. Psalm 49:19 Lit You; or It
  14. Psalm 49:20 Lit are destroyed
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Psalm 49 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Folly of Trusting in Riches.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

49 Hear this, all peoples;
Listen carefully, all inhabitants of the world,

Both low and high,
Rich and poor together:

My mouth will speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart will be understanding.

I will incline my ear and consent to a proverb;
On the lyre I will unfold my riddle.


Why should I fear in the days of evil,
When the wickedness of those who would betray me surrounds me [on every side],

Even those who trust in and rely on their wealth
And boast of the abundance of their riches?

None of them can by any means redeem [either himself or] his brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for him—

For the ransom of his soul is too costly,
And he should cease trying forever—

So that he should live on eternally,
That he should never see the pit (grave) and undergo decay.

10 
For he sees that even wise men die;
The fool and the stupid alike perish
And leave their wealth to others.
11 
Their inward thought is that their houses will continue forever,
And their dwelling places to all generations;
They have named their lands after their own names [ignoring God].
12 
But man, with all his [self] honor and pomp, will not endure;
He is like the beasts that perish.

13 
This is the fate of those who are foolishly confident,
And of those after them who approve [and are influenced by] their words. Selah.
14 
Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead);
Death will be their shepherd;
And the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
And their form and beauty shall [a]be for Sheol to consume,
So that they have no dwelling [on earth].
15 
But God will redeem my life from the power of Sheol,
For He will receive me. Selah.

16 
Be not afraid when [an ungodly] man becomes rich,
When the wealth and glory of his house are increased;
17 
For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
His glory will not descend after him.
18 
Though while he lives he counts himself happy and prosperous—
And though people praise you when you do well for yourself—
19 
He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They shall never again see the light.
20 
A man [who is held] in honor,
Yet who lacks [spiritual] understanding and a teachable heart, is like the beasts that perish.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 49:14 The ancient rabbis read this as “will wear out Sheol,” which also matches the Hebrew, and interpreted it as referring to unending punishment, i.e. punishment even outlasting Gehinnom (hell).
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Psalm 49 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 49[a]

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

Hear this, all you peoples;
    listen, all who live in this world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor alike:
My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
I will turn my ear to a proverb;
    with the harp I will expound my riddle:

Why should I fear when evil days come,
    when wicked deceivers surround me—
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of their great riches?
No one can redeem the life of another
    or give to God a ransom for them—
the ransom for a life is costly,
    no payment is ever enough—
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.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses[b] forever,
    their dwellings for endless generations,
    though they had[c] 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.[d]
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.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
    he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
    when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
    their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
    and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
    who will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
    are like the beasts that perish.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 49:1 In Hebrew texts 49:1-20 is numbered 49:2-21.
  2. Psalm 49:11 Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew In their thoughts their houses will remain
  3. Psalm 49:11 Or generations, / for they have
  4. Psalm 49:13 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 15.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Psalm 49 King James Version (KJV)

49 Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:

Both low and high, rich and poor, together.

My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:

(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)

That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.

12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.

15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;

17 For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.

18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.

19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.

20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

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