Psalm 49

For the director of music. A psalm of the Sons of Korah.
1Hear this, all you nations.
Listen, all you who live in this world.
2Listen, people, whether you are ordinary or important.
Listen, people, whether you are rich or poor.
3My mouth will speak wise words.
What I think about in my heart will give you understanding.
4I will pay attention to a proverb.
I will explain my riddle as I play the harp.

5Why 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.
6They trust in their wealth.
They brag about how rich they are.
7No one can pay for the life of anyone else.
No one can give God what that would cost.
8The price for a life is very high.
No payment is ever enough.
9No one can pay enough to live forever
and not rot in the grave.

10Everyone 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.
11Their 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.

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

13That’s what happens to those who trust in themselves.
It also happens to their followers, who agree with what they say.
14They 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.
15But God will save me from the place of the dead.
He will certainly take me to himself.

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

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