1 Hear this, all ye peoples. Give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world, 2 both low and high, rich and poor together. 3 My mouth shall speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. 4 I will incline my ear to a parable. I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
5 Why should I fear in the days of evil, when iniquity at my heels encompasses me about? 6 Those who trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches, 7 none can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him 8 (for the redemption of their life is costly, and it fails forever), 9 that he should still live always, that he should not see corruption.
10 For he shall see it. Wise men die. The fool and the brutish alike perish, and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their inward thought is [that] their houses [are] forever, their dwelling-places to all generations. They call their lands after their own names. 12 Even a man in splendor does not abide. He is like the beasts that perish.
13 This their way is their folly. Yet after them men approve their sayings. Selah. 14 They are appointed as a flock for Sheol. Death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. And their beauty shall be for Sheol to consume, that there be no habitation for it. 15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah.
16 Be not thou afraid when a man is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased. 17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away. His glory shall not descend after him. 18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul (and men praise thee, when thou do well for thyself), 19 he shall go to the generation of his fathers. They shall never see the light. 20 A man who is in splendor, and understands not, is like the beasts that perish.