For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
1Listen to this, all you people!
Pay attention, everyone in the world!
2High and low,
rich and poor—listen!
3For my words are wise,
and my thoughts are filled with insight.
4I listen carefully to many proverbs
and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.
5Why should I fear when trouble comes,
when enemies surround me?
6They trust in their wealth
and boast of great riches.
7Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death# Or no one can redeem the life of another.
by paying a ransom to God.
8Redemption does not come so easily,
for no one can ever pay enough
9to live forever
and never see the grave.
10Those who are wise must finally die,
just like the foolish and senseless,
leaving all their wealth behind.
11The grave is their eternal home,
where they will stay forever.
They may name their estates after themselves,
12but their fame will not last.
They will die, just like animals.
13This is the fate of fools,
though they are remembered as being wise.# The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
14Like sheep, they are led to the grave,# Hebrew Sheol; also in 49:14b, 15.
where death will be their shepherd.
In the morning the godly will rule over them.
Their bodies will rot in the grave,
far from their grand estates.
15But as for me, God will redeem my life.
He will snatch me from the power of the grave.
16So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich
and their homes become ever more splendid.
17For when they die, they take nothing with them.
Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.
18In this life they consider themselves fortunate
and are applauded for their success.
19But they will die like all before them
and never again see the light of day.
20People who boast of their wealth don’t understand;
they will die, just like animals.
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12but their fame will not last.They will die, just like animals.