New English Translation
For the music director, a psalm by the Korahites.
1 Listen to this, all you nations! Pay attention, all you inhabitants of the world!
2 Pay attention, all you people, both rich and poor!
3 I will declare a wise saying; I will share my profound thoughts.
4 I will learn a song that imparts wisdom; I will then sing my insightful song to the accompaniment of a harp.
5 Why should I be afraid in times of trouble, when the sinful deeds of deceptive men threaten to overwhelm me?
6 They trust in their wealth and boast in their great riches.
7 Certainly a man cannot rescue his brother; he cannot pay God an adequate ransom price
8 (the ransom price for a human life is too high, and people go to their final destiny),
9 so that he might continue to live forever and not experience death.
10 Surely one sees that even wise people die; fools and spiritually insensitive people all pass away and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their grave becomes their permanent residence, their eternal dwelling place. They name their lands after themselves,
12 but, despite their wealth, people do not last, they are like animals that perish.
13 This is the destiny of fools, and of those who approve of their philosophy. (Selah)
14 They will travel to Sheol like sheep, with death as their shepherd. The godly will rule over them when the day of vindication dawns; Sheol will consume their bodies and they will no longer live in impressive houses.
15 But God will rescue my life from the power of Sheol; certainly he will pull me to safety. (Selah)
16 Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich and his wealth multiplies!
17 For he will take nothing with him when he dies; his wealth will not follow him down into the grave.
18 He pronounces this blessing on himself while he is alive: "May men praise you, for you have done well!"
19 But he will join his ancestors; they will never again see the light of day.
20 Wealthy people do not understand; they are like animals that perish.
King James Version
To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.
1 Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:
2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
3 My mouth shall speak of 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 the iniquity of my heels shall compass 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 soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person 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 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.
14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory 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 will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.
19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.
20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.