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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Psalms 49

Verses 1-20

Psalms 49:0 When rich and poor face death

Rich and poor alike are asked to listen as the psalmist deals with a problem of life that concerns them both (1-4). The godly have no need to be anxious when the wealthy and powerful oppose them. After all, the wealthy cannot give their money to God to stop them from dying. Money cannot buy the right to live for ever. The wealthy also must die (5-9). Whether people be wise or foolish, rich or poor, they are no better off than the beasts when it comes to escaping death (10-12).
Although all are equal in having to face death, they are not all equal in what they have to face after death. Those who foolishly rely on their wealth will find it unable to save them from ruin and decay in the world of the dead. On the other hand, the godly, who do not look to wealth to save them from the power of death, will find that God himself saves them, and leads them into a future life of joy (13-15). A person need not, therefore, fear or envy the rich, for their wealth is not lasting. It cannot save them from future ruin (16-20).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Psalms 49". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". 2005.