Psalm 49 – “Pedagogic Lesson About the Wealthy”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist condemns the wealthy.

II. Photo
The psalmist teaches a lesson: “Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, when his household goods increase; for when he dies he can take none of it along; his goods cannot follow him down.” (vv. 17-18)

III. Select Verses    
2-3:  Hear this, all you peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world, men of all estates, rich and poor alike.
12: Their grave is their eternal home, the dwelling-place for all generations of those once famous on earth.
13: Man does not abide in honor; he is like the beasts that perish.
14-16:  Such is the fate of those who are self-confident, the end of those pleased with their own talk. Selah. Sheeplike they head for Sheol, with Death as their shepherd. The upright shall rule over them at daybreak, and their form shall waste away in Sheol till its nobility be gone. But God will redeem my life from the clutches of Sheol, for He will take me. Selah.
17-20: Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, when his household goods increase;  for when he dies he can take none of it along; his goods cannot follow him down. Though he congratulates himself in his lifetime — “They must admit that you did well by yourself” — yet he must join the company of his ancestors, who will never see daylight again.

IV. Outline
1. Superscription
2-5. Exordium (introduction)
6-12. Lesson about the wealthy who are wicked
13. Refrain
14-16. Lesson about the righteous and wicked
17-20. Lesson about wealth
21. Refrain

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Craigie, Peter C. “Psalms 1-50” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 19 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1983).
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
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