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Psalm 49

Audite haec, omnes

O hear ye this, all ye people; ponder it with your ears, all ye that dwell in the world, high and low, rich and poor, one with another. My mouth shall speak of wisdom, and my heart shall muse of understanding. I will incline mine ear to the parable, and show my dark speech upon the harp.

Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, and when wickedness at my heels compasseth me round about? There be some that put their trust in their goods, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches. But no man may deliver his brother, nor make agreement unto God for him, for it cost more to redeem their souls, so that he must let that alone for ever, yea, though he live long, and not see the grave.

For he seeth that wise men also die and perish together, as well as the ignorant and foolish, and leave their riches for others. And yet they think that their houses shall continue for ever, and that their dwelling-places shall endure from one generation to another; and call the lands after their own names.

Nevertheless, man will not abide in honour, seeing he may be compared unto the beasts that perish; this is the way of them. This is their foolishness; and their posterity praise their saying. They lie in the hell like sheep; death gnaweth upon them, and the righteous shall have dominion over them in the morning. Their beauty shall consume in the sepulchre out of their dwelling. But God hath delivered my soul from the place of hell; for he shall receive me.

Be not thou afraid, though one be made rich, or if the glory of his house be increased; for he shall carry nothing away with him when he dieth, neither shall his pomp follow him. For while he lived, he counted himself an happy man; and so long as thou doest well unto thyself, men will speak good of thee. He shall follow the generation of his fathers, and shall never see light. Man being in honour hath no understanding, but is compared unto the beasts that perish.

The coverdale translation edited by W.S. Peterson and Valerie Macys — used with permission.