For the music leader. A psalm of the Korahites.
1Listen to this, all you people!
Listen closely, all you citizens of the world—
2people of every kind,
rich and poor alike!
3My mouth speaks wisdom;
my heart’s meditation is full of insight.
4I will pay close attention to a proverb;
I will explain my riddle on the lyre.
5Why should I be afraid in times of trouble,
when the wrongdoing of my bullies engulfs me—
6those people who trust in their fortunes
and boast of their fantastic wealth?
7Wealth? It can’t save a single person!
It can’t pay a life’s ransom-price to God.
8The price to save someone’s life is too high—
wealth will never be enough—
9no one can live forever
without experiencing the pit.
10Everyone knows that the wise die too,
just like foolish and stupid people do,
all of them leaving their fortunes to others.
11Their graves#Correction with LXX are their eternal homes,
the place they live for all generations,
even if they had counties named after them!
12People won’t live any longer because of wealth;
they’re just like the animals that pass away.
13That’s how it goes for those who are foolish,
as well as for those who follow their lead, pleased with their talk.
14Like sheep, they’re headed straight for the grave.#Heb Sheol; also again in 49:7, 15
Death will be their shepherd—
but those who do right in their hearts will rule over them come morning!—
their forms wasting away in the grave
rather than having some dignified residence.#Heb uncertain in 49:13-14
15But God will save my life from the power of the grave,
because he will take me. Selah
16Don’t be overly impressed when someone becomes rich,
their house swelling to fantastic proportions,
17because when they die, they won’t take any of it with them.
Their fantastic things won’t accompany them down under.
18Though they consider themselves blessed during their lives,
and even thank you when you deal well with them,#LXX, Syr
19they too will join the ancestors who’ve gone ahead;
they too will never see the light again.
20Wealthy people? They just don’t understand;
they’re just like the animals
that pass away.