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.

  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).