GOD’S WORD Translation
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Psalm 49

For the choir director; a psalm by Korah’s descendants. 

Listen to this, all you people. 

Open your ears, all who live in the world— 

common people and important ones, 

rich people and poor ones. 

My mouth will speak wise sayings, 

the insights I have carefully considered. 

I will turn my attention to a proverb. 

I will explain my riddle with the ⸤music of⸥ a lyre. 

Why should I be afraid in times of trouble, 

when slanderers surround me with evil? 

They trust their riches 

and brag about their abundant wealth. 

No one can ever buy back another person 

or pay God a ransom for his life. 

The price to be paid for his soul is too costly. 

He must always give up 

in order to live forever and never see the pit. 

10  Indeed, one can see that wise people die, 

that foolish and stupid people meet the same end. 

They leave their riches to others. 

11  Although they named their lands after themselves, 

their gravesa have become their homes for ages to come, 

their dwelling places throughout every generation. 

12  But mortals will not continue here with what they treasure. 

They are like animals that die. 

13  This is the final outcome for fools and their followers 

who are delighted by what they say: 


14  Like sheep, they are driven to hell 

with death as their shepherd. 

(Decent people will rule them in the morning.) 

Their forms will decay in the grave, 

far away from their comfortable homes. 

15  But God will buy me back from the power of hell 

because he will take me. 


16  Do not be afraid when someone becomes rich, 

when the greatness of his house increases. 

17  He will not take anything with him when he dies. 

His greatness cannot follow him. 

18  Even though he blesses himself while he is alive 

(and they praise you when you do well for yourself), 

19  he must join the generation of his ancestors, 

who will never see light ⸤again⸥. 

20  Mortals, with what they treasure, still don’t have understanding. 

They are like animals that die. 


About GOD’S WORD Translation

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) communicates the saving, life-changing Good News about Jesus in clear, natural English. Translated directly from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek by a committee of scholars, GOD’S WORD is an exceptional Bible that consciously combines scholarly fidelity with natural English.

By implementing the translation principles of Closest Natural Equivalence, the translation committee seeks to translate the best available texts into English with the closest possible accuracy. This commitment to accurately translating the Bible includes expressing the meaning naturally and in a style that preserves the characteristics of the source text.

The combination of accuracy and readability makes GOD’S WORD ideally suited for the following:

Devotional reading and in-depth study

Preaching, teaching, and worship




Scripture references from GOD’S WORD are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.

Up to 500 verses from GOD’S WORD may be quoted in any form (printed, written, visual, electronic, or audio) without written permission, provided that no more than half of any one book is quoted, and the verses quoted do not amount to more than 25% of the text of the work in which they are quoted.

The designation (GOD’S WORD) must always appear after each quotation. In addition, if the quotation is used in a work that is not for sale, the work must bear the following notice either on the title page or reverse thereof of each copy, or in a location where it can be readily perceived by the reader:

GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission.

If used in a work that is for sale, the following copyright notice must be used:

GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.

For quotation of over 500 verses and/or questions about these policies, contact God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, P.O. Box 26343, Cleveland, Ohio 44126-0343, U.S.A.

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