Psalm 49

The sons of Korah wrote this psalm for the music leader.

Riches cannot save you

1 Listen to this, people from every nation.

Yes, listen carefully,

everyone who lives in this world!

2 All people must listen, whoever you are,

whether you are rich people or poor people.

3 I will speak wise words to you.

When you know my thoughts,

you will understand things better.

4 I have studied proverbs.

I explain what they mean

as I make music on my harp.

5 When trouble comes,

why am I afraid?

When cruel people are all round me,

and they want to hurt me,

why am I afraid?

6 Those people think that their money will keep them safe.

They are proud about their riches.

7 Nobody can pay the price to save another person.

Nobody can pay God the price for their life.

8 A human life costs too much to buy it back.

Nobody could ever pay enough.

9 So nobody can live for ever.

Everyone goes to their grave one day.

10 Surely you see that even wise people die,

in the way that fools and stupid people also die.

Then their money will belong to someone else.

11 Their graves will be their homes for ever.

They had their own land,

which was called by their name,

12 but people do not live for ever,

even if they are very rich.

They will die, just like the animals.

13 The same thing will happen to fools,

and to those who copy their way of life.


14 They will follow one another like sheep.

Death will be their shepherd

that leads them into their graves.

But when the day arrives,

righteous people will rule over them.

They will no longer live in their great houses,

but death will destroy their bodies in their graves.

15 But God will save my life from the power of death.

He will take me to a safe place with him.


16 If somebody becomes rich

and he has more and more things,

do not be afraid!

49:16This is the answer to the question in verse 5. There is no need to be afraid of rich people. They may do bad things to us, they may rob us, they may even hurt us, but their money cannot buy life.

17 He cannot take anything with him when he dies.

His riches cannot go with him into death.

18 While he lived, he was happy with his life.

He thought, ‘People will praise me,

because I am rich.’

19 But he will join his ancestors in death.

He will never see the light of day again.

20 Rich people do not always understand the truth.

They will die, just like the animals.