Amplified Bible

Psalm 49

The Folly of Trusting in Riches.

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

1Hear 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.

Notas al pie

  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).

The Message

Psalm 49

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah

11-2 Listen, everyone, listen—
    earth-dwellers, don’t miss this.
All you haves
    and have-nots,
All together now: listen.

3-4 I set plainspoken wisdom before you,
    my heart-seasoned understandings of life.
I fine-tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise,
    I solve life’s riddle with the help of a harp.

5-6 So why should I fear in bad times,
    hemmed in by enemy malice,
Shoved around by bullies,
    demeaned by the arrogant rich?

7-9 Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue,
    pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means,
    and even then it doesn’t guarantee
Life forever, or insurance
    against the Black Hole.

10-11 Anyone can see that the brightest and best die,
    wiped out right along with fools and dunces.
They leave all their prowess behind,
    move into their new home, The Coffin,
The cemetery their permanent address.
    And to think they named counties after themselves!

12 We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
    Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.

13-15 This is what happens to those who live for the moment,
    who only look out for themselves:
Death herds them like sheep straight to hell;
    they disappear down the gullet of the grave;
They waste away to nothing—
    nothing left but a marker in a cemetery.
But me? God snatches me from the clutch of death,
    he reaches down and grabs me.

16-19 So don’t be impressed with those who get rich
    and pile up fame and fortune.
They can’t take it with them;
    fame and fortune all get left behind.
Just when they think they’ve arrived
    and folks praise them because they’ve made good,
They enter the family burial plot
    where they’ll never see sunshine again.

20 We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
    Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.