Psalm 49

1 O hear this, all you peoples:
    give ear, all you inhabitants of the world,
2 All children of earth, offspring of Adam:
    both rich and poor alike.
3 For my mouth shall speak wisdom:
    and the thoughts of my heart shall be full of understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a riddle:
    and unfold the mystery to the sounds of the harp.
5 Why should I fear in the evil days:
    when the wickedness of my deceivers surrounds me,
6 Though they trust to their great wealth:
    and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 No one may ransom another:
    or give God a price for them,
8 So that they may live for ever:
    and never see the grave;
9 For to ransom a life is so costly:
    that it must be abandoned for ever.
10 For we see that the wise die:
    and perish with the foolish and the ignorant, leaving their wealth to others.
11 The tomb is their home for ever, their dwelling-place throughout all generations:
    though they called estates after their own names.
12 The rich without understanding:
    are like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the lot of the foolish:
    the end of those who are pleased with their own words.
14 They are driven like sheep into the grave, and death is their shepherd:
    they slip down easily into the tomb.
15 Their bright forms shall wear away in the grave:
    and lose their former glory.
16 But God will ransom my life:
    he will take me from the power of the grave.
17 Do not fear when someone grows rich:
    when the wealth of their household increases,
18 For they will take nothing away when they die:
    nor will their wealth go down after them.
19 Though they count themselves happy while they live:
    and praise you also when you prosper,
20 They will go to the company of their ancestors:
    who will never see the light.
21 The rich without understanding:
    are like the beasts that perish.