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   The Book of Psalms.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Book II
 
XLIX
 
The Folly of Trusting in Riches
 
 
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
 
 
[1]  HEAR this, all ye peoples;
Give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world,
[2]  Both low and high,
Rich and poor together.
[3]  My mouth shall speak wisdom;
And the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
[4]  I will incline mine ear to a parable:
I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
[5]  Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil,
When iniquity 1 at my heels compasseth me about?
[6]  They that trust in their wealth,
And boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
[7]  None of them can by any means redeem his brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for him
[8]  (For the redemption of their life is costly,
And it faileth for ever),
[9]  That he should still live alway,
That he should not see corruption. 2
[10]  For he 3 shall see it. Wise men die;
The fool and the brutish alike perish,
And leave their wealth to others.
[11]  Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever,
And their dwelling-places to all generations;
They call their lands after their own names.
[12]  But man being in honor abideth not:
He is like the beasts that perish.
[13]  This their 4 way is their 5 folly:
Yet after them men approve their sayings.  [Selah
[14]  They are appointed as a flock for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd:
And the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning;
And their beauty 6 shall be for Sheol to consume,
That there be no habitation for it.
[15]  But God will redeem my soul from the power 7 of Sheol;
For he will receive me.  [Selah
[16]  Be not thou afraid when one is made rich,
When the glory 8 of his house is increased:
[17]  For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away;
His glory shall not descend after him.
[18]  Though while he lived he blessed his soul
(And men praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself),
[19]  He 9 shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They 10 shall never see the light.
[20]  Man that is in honor, and understandeth not,
Is like the beasts that perish.
 
Note 1. Or, the iniquity of them that would supplant me compasseth me about, Even of them that trust … riches? [back]
Note 2. Or, the pit. [back]
Note 3. Or, he seeth that wise men &c. [back]
Note 4. Or, is the way of them that are foolish. [back]
Note 5. Or, their confidence: and after &c. [back]
Note 6. Or, form. [back]
Note 7. Heb. hand,. [back]
Note 8. Or, wealth. [back]
Note 9. Heb. Thou shalt go, or, It shall go. [back]
Note 10. Or, Who never more see. [back]
 

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