King James Version

Psalm 49

1Hear 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.

New International Reader's Version

Psalm 49

Psalm 49

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

Hear this, all you nations.
    Listen, all you who live in this world.
Listen, people, whether you are ordinary or important.
    Listen, people, whether you are rich or poor.
My mouth will speak wise words.
    What I think about in my heart will give you understanding.
I will pay attention to a proverb.
    I will explain my riddle as I play the harp.

Why should I be afraid when trouble comes?
    Why should I fear when sinners are all around me?
    They are the kind of people who want to take advantage of me.
They trust in their wealth.
    They brag about how rich they are.
No one can pay for the life of anyone else.
    No one can give God what that would cost.
The price for a life is very high.
    No payment is ever enough.
No one can pay enough to live forever
    and not rot in the grave.

10 Everyone can see that even wise people die.
    People who are foolish and who have no sense also pass away.
    All of them leave their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses forever.
    Their graves will be their homes for all time to come.
    Naming lands after themselves won’t help either.

12 Even though people may be very rich, they don’t live on and on.
    They are like the animals. They die.

13 That’s what happens to those who trust in themselves.
    It also happens to their followers, who agree with what they say.
14 They are like sheep and will end up in the grave.
    Death will be their shepherd.
But when honest people come to power, a new day will dawn.
    The bodies of sinners will waste away in the grave.
    They will end up far away from their princely houses.
15 But God will save me from the place of the dead.
    He will certainly take me to himself.

16 Don’t get too upset when other people become rich.
    Don’t be troubled when they become more and more wealthy.
17 They won’t take anything with them when they die.
    Their riches won’t go down to the grave with them.
18 While they lived, they believed they were blessed.
    People praised them when things were going well for them.
19 But they will die, like their people of long ago.
    They will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have riches but don’t understand
    are like the animals. They die.