Psalm 49

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.


  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