1 A melody of the sons of Korʹah.
Hear this, all you peoples. Pay attention, all you inhabitants of the world,
2 Both small and great, Rich and poor alike.
3 My own mouth will speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart will show understanding.
4 I will pay attention to a proverb; I will expound my riddle with the harp.
5 Why should I fear during times of trouble, When I am surrounded by the evil of those trying to overthrow me?
6 Those who are trusting in their wealth And who boast about their great riches,
7 None of them can ever redeem a brother Or give to God a ransom for him,
8 (The ransom price for their life is so precious That it is always beyond their reach);
9 That he should live forever and not see the pit.
10 He sees that even wise people die; The stupid and the unreasoning perish together, And they must leave their wealth to others.
11 Their inner wish is that their houses will last forever, Their tents to generation after generation. They have named their estates after themselves.
12 But man, although honored, will not remain; He is no better than the beasts that perish.
13 This is the way of the stupid ones And of those who follow them, who take pleasure in their empty words.
14 They are assigned like sheep to the Grave. Death will shepherd them; The upright will rule over them in the morning. Every trace of them will fade away; The Grave rather than a palace will be their home.
15 But God will redeem me from the power of the Grave, For he will take hold of me.
16 Do not be afraid because a man becomes rich, Because the splendor of his house increases,
17 For when he dies he can take nothing with him; His splendor will not go down with him.
18 For during his lifetime he congratulates himself.
(People praise you when you prosper.)
19 But he finally joins the generation of his forefathers. They will never again see the light.
20 A man who does not understand this, although honored, Is no better than the beasts that perish.