The Hebrew Bible

49For the leader. Of the Korahites. A psalm.

2Hear this, all you peoples;

give ear, all inhabitants of the world,

3men of all estates,

rich and poor alike.

4My mouth utters wisdom,

my speech is full of insight.

5I will turn my attention to a theme,

set forth my lesson to the music of a lyre.

6In time of trouble, why should I fear

the encompassing evil of those who would supplant me—

7men who trust in their riches,

who glory in their great wealth?

8Ah, it cannot redeem a man,

or pay his ransom to God;

9the price of life is too high;

and so one ceases to be, forever.

10Shall he live eternally,

and never see the grave?

11For one sees that the wise die,

that the foolish and ignorant both perish,

leaving their wealth to others.

12Their grave is their eternal home,

the dwelling-place for all generations

of those once famous on earth.

13Man does not abide in honor;

he is like the beasts that perish.

14Such is the fate of those who are self-confident,

the end of those pleased with their own talk. Selah.


15Sheeplike they head for Sheol,

with Death as their shepherd.

The upright shall rule over them at daybreak,

and their form shall waste away in Sheol

till its nobility be gone.

16But God will redeem my life from the clutches of Sheol,

for He will take me. Selah.

17Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich,

when his household goods increase;

18for when he dies he can take none of it along;

his goods cannot follow him down.

19Though he congratulates himself in his lifetime

—“They must admit that you did well by yourself”—

20yet he must join the company of his ancestors,

who will never see daylight again.

21Man does not understand honor;

he is like the beasts that perish.

Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem- Jewish Publication Society) 1985.