Psalm 49

The wicked are prosperous and rich. They are filled with pride and a sense of security. But their wealth cannot save them from the grave.




For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by the sons of Korah.


VERSE 1. Hear this, all you peoples. Listen, all you inhabitants of the world,

Hear this, all you peoples. The author is taking on the role of a teacher of wisdom.


VERSE 2. both low and high, rich and poor together.


VERSE 3. My mouth will speak words of wisdom. My heart shall utter understanding.


VERSE 4. I will incline my ear to a proverb. I will open my riddle on the harp.


VERSE 5. Why should I fear in the days of evil, when iniquity at my heels surrounds me?

Why should I fear. The wicked have a strong sense of security.


VERSE 6. Those who trust in their wealth, and boast in the multitude of their riches—


VERSE 7. none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give God a ransom for him.


VERSE 8. For the redemption of their life is costly, no payment is ever enough,

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Psalms and from the entire Bible.

NIV translation: The ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough.

NLT translation. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough.

no payment is ever enough. This is part of why the Lord Jesus Christ came into our world of time and space. He came to be the ransom our lives, the payment we could never make. His life, death and resurrection pays the debt for our sins, making us righteous before God.

Isaiah 35:9. No lion will be there, nor will any ravenous animal go up on it. They will not be found there; but the redeemed will walk there.

1 Peter 1:18-19. knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish or spot, the blood of Christ,


VERSE 9. that he should live on forever, that he should not see corruption.

that he should live on forever. Wealth cannot prevent death.


VERSE 10. For he sees that wise men die; likewise the fool and the senseless perish, and leave their wealth to others.


VERSE 11. Their inward thought is that their houses will endure forever, and their dwelling places to all generations. They name their lands after themselves.


VERSE 12. But man, despite his riches, doesn’t endure. He is like the animals that perish.


VERSE 13. This is the destiny of those who are foolish, and of those who approve their sayings. Selah.

those who are foolish. Death is the fate of the self-righteous.


VERSE 14. They are appointed as a flock for Sheol. Death shall be their shepherd. The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. Their beauty shall decay in Sheol, far from their mansion.

Their beauty shall decay in Sheol. The glory of the wicked will be consumed in the grave.


VERSE 15. But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah.


VERSE 16. Don’t be afraid when a man is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;


VERSE 17. for when he dies he will carry nothing away. His glory won’t descend after him.


VERSE 18. Though while he lived he blessed his soul— and men praise you when you do well for yourself—


VERSE 19. he shall go to the generation of his fathers. They shall never see the light.


VERSE 20. A man who has riches without understanding, is like the animals that perish.

has riches without understanding. The destiny of the righteous is far better than the fleeting glory of the wicked.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: Todd Van Natta

I was given a great gift. It is to be passionate about Jesus Christ and the Bible and the spiritual life. I am a Christian believer. I believe in Jesus Christ. I’m in love with Jesus! I believe the Bible. I love the Bible. For decades, I've been reading it cover-to-cover, again and again and again. I’ve memorized a whole lot of Bible verses. Most of all, I want the Bible to help us fall more deeply in love with God the Father, with Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, with other people, and with ourselves. And I've been reading the great writings from the entire Christian heritage for decades. At Explore the Faith, I share what I have discovered.

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