Old Testament Commentary - Psalms 49

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
       CHAPTER 49          

Men cannot be ransomed or redeemed by wealth—God alone can redeem a soul from the grave—The glory of a rich man ceases with his death.

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.
  1 HEAR this, all ye people; give aear, 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 aopen my dark saying upon the harp.
  5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my aheels shall compass me about?
  6 They that trust in their awealth, 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 asoul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
  9 That he should still alive for ever, and not see corruption.
  10 For he seeth that wise men adie, 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 anames.
  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 adominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
  15 But God will aredeem my soul from the power of the gravea: for he shall breceive me. Selah.
 15a redeem my soul from the power of the grave Just what did the Saducees think that David was speaking of when he stated that 'God would redeem his soul from the grave'? It seems clear enough that man's soul must be raised from the dead in order to over come the power of death and of the grave. Yet was the Saducees arguing against the resurrection where the spirit unto life is reunited unto its tabernacle of clay, flesh and bone, or where they actually aguing against an after life of any kind? There is a difference and many traditional Christian religions maintain that while there is life after the grave, the spirit of man will not be reunited with its body and this dispite the fact that that is exactly that which Jesus Christ did when he was resurrected. He again took upon himself a body of flesh and bone. It seems that both in the Jewish religion as well as those of the Christian religion, there are those who do not believe in a literal resurrection but only that the spirit will be raised from the dead. This however is nonsense as the spirit does not ever die but is eternal in nature and lives on after death already and only a victory over death can therefore be taken as a reuniting of the body to the spirit and that the body be raised from the power of the grave unto immortality.
  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 ablessed 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.