Chapter 49

1For the leader. Of the Korahites. A psalm.

אלַמְנַצֵּחַ לִבְנֵי־קֹרַח מִזְמוֹר׃

2Hear this, all you peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world,

בשִׁמְעוּ־זֹאת כָּל־הָעַמִּים הַאֲזִינוּ כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי חָלֶד׃

3men of all estates, rich and poor alike.

גגַּם־בְּנֵי אָדָם גַּם־בְּנֵי־אִישׁ יַחַד עָשִׁיר וְאֶבְיוֹן׃

4My mouth utters wisdom, my speech is full of insight.

דפִּי יְדַבֵּר חָכְמוֹת וְהָגוּת לִבִּי תְבוּנוֹת׃

5I will turn my attention to a theme, set forth my lesson to the music of a lyre.

האַטֶּה לְמָשָׁל אָזְנִי אֶפְתַּח בְּכִנּוֹר חִידָתִי׃

6In time of trouble, why should I fear the encompassing evil of those who would supplant me—

ולָמָּה אִירָא בִּימֵי רָע עֲוׂן עֲקֵבַי יְסוּבֵּנִי׃

7men who trust in their riches, who glory in their great wealth?

זהַבֹּטְחִים עַל־חֵילָם וּבְרֹב עָשְׁרָם יִתְהַלָּלוּ׃

8Ah, it cannot redeem a man, or pay his ransom to Hashem;

חאָח לֹא־פָדֹה יִפְדֶּה אִישׁ לֹא־יִתֵּן לֵאלֹהִים כָּפְרוֹ׃

9the price of life is too high; and so one ceases to be, forever.

טוְיֵקַר פִּדְיוֹן נַפְשָׁם וְחָדַל לְעוֹלָם׃

10Shall he live eternally, and never see the grave?

יוִיחִי־עוֹד לָנֶצַח לֹא יִרְאֶה הַשָּׁחַת׃

11For one sees that the wise die, that the foolish and ignorant both perish, leaving their wealth to others.

יאכִּי יִרְאֶה חֲכָמִים יָמוּתוּ יַחַד כְּסִיל וָבַעַר יֹאבֵדוּ וְעָזְבוּ לַאֲחֵרִים חֵילָם׃

12Their grave is their eternal home, the dwelling-place for all generations of those once famous on earth.

יבקִרְבָּם בָּתֵּימוֹ לְעוֹלָם מִשְׁכְּנֹתָם לְדֹר וָדֹר קָרְאוּ בִשְׁמוֹתָם עֲלֵי אֲדָמוֹת׃

13Man does not abide in honor; he is like the beasts that perish.

יגוְאָדָם בִּיקָר בַּל־יָלִין נִמְשַׁל כַּבְּהֵמוֹת נִדְמוּ׃

14Such is the fate of those who are self-confident, the end of those pleased with their own talk. Selah.

ידזֶה דַרְכָּם כֵּסֶל לָמוֹ וְאַחֲרֵיהֶם בְּפִיהֶם יִרְצוּ סֶלָה׃

15Sheeplike 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.

טוכַּצֹּאן לִשְׁאוֹל שַׁתּוּ מָוֶת יִרְעֵם וַיִּרְדּוּ בָם יְשָׁרִים לַבֹּקֶר וצירם [וְצוּרָם] לְבַלּוֹת שְׁאוֹל מִזְּבֻל לוֹ׃

16But Hashem will redeem my life from the clutches of Sheol, for He will take me. Selah.

טזאַךְ־אֱלֹהִים יִפְדֶּה נַפְשִׁי מִיַּד־שְׁאוֹל כִּי יִקָּחֵנִי סֶלָה׃

17Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, when his household goods increase;

יזאַל־תִּירָא כִּי־יַעֲשִׁר אִישׁ כִּי־יִרְבֶּה כְּבוֹד בֵּיתוֹ׃

18for when he dies he can take none of it along; his goods cannot follow him down.

KEE LO b'-mo-TO yi-KAKH ha-KOL lo yay-RAYD a-kha-RAV k'-vo-DO

יחכִּי לֹא בְמוֹתוֹ יִקַּח הַכֹּל לֹא־יֵרֵד אַחֲרָיו כְּבוֹדוֹ׃

49:18   His goods cannot follow him down

The Bible relates that after Shlomo becomes king of Israel, he has a dream. In his dream, Hashem appears and offers to grant him one wish. Instead of requesting wealth or long life, Shlomo humbly asks for wisdom so that he can properly judge the people. God is pleased with his decision, and rewards him not only with wisdom, but with wealth and honor as well. Upon waking the next morning, he comes to Yerushalayim and offers sacrifices, expressing his gratitude to the Lord (I Kings 3:5-14). In making his request, Shlomo demonstrates that he understands the message of this verse: Those things that most people chase, wealth and fortune, are the most fleeting.

19Though he congratulates himself in his lifetime —“They must admit that you did well by yourself”—

יטכִּי־נַפְשׁוֹ בְּחַיָּיו יְבָרֵךְ וְיוֹדֻךָ כִּי־תֵיטִיב לָךְ׃

20yet he must join the company of his ancestors, who will never see daylight again.

כתָּבוֹא עַד־דּוֹר אֲבוֹתָיו עַד־נֵצַח לֹא יִרְאוּ־אוֹר׃

21Man does not understand honor; he is like the beasts that perish.

כאאָדָם בִּיקָר וְלֹא יָבִין נִמְשַׁל כַּבְּהֵמוֹת נִדְמוּ׃