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1Hear this, all peoples!

Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,

2both low and high,

rich and poor together!

3My mouth shall speak wisdom;

the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.

4I will incline my ear to a proverb;

I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.

5Why should I fear in times of trouble,

when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,

6men who trust in their wealth

and boast of the abundance of their riches?

7Truly no man can ransom himself,

or give to God the price of his life,

8for the ransom of his life is costly,

and can never suffice,

9that he should continue to live on for ever,

and never see the Pit.

10Yea, he shall see that even the wise die,

the fool and the stupid alike must perish

and leave their wealth to others.

11Their graves are their homes for ever,

their dwelling places to all generations,

though they named lands their own.

12Man cannot abide in his pomp,

he is like the beasts that perish.

13This is the fate of those who have foolish confidence,

the end of those who are pleased with their portion.   Selah

14Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;

Death shall be their shepherd;

straight to the grave they descend,

and their form shall waste away;

Sheol shall be their home.

15But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,

for he will receive me.   Selah

16Be not afraid when one becomes rich,

when the glory of his house increases.

17For when he dies he will carry nothing away;

his glory will not go down after him.

18Though, while he lives, he counts himself happy,

and though a man gets praise when he does well for himself,

19he will go to the generation of his fathers,

who will never more see the light.

20Man cannot abide in his pomp,

he is like the beasts that perish.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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