1 Give attention to this, all you peoples; let your ears be open, all you who are living in the world. 2 High and low together, the poor, and those who have wealth. 3 From my mouth will come words of wisdom; and in the thoughts of my heart will be knowledge. 4 I will put my teaching into a story; I will make my dark sayings clear with music.
5 What cause have I for fear in the days of evil, when the evil-doing of those who are working for my downfall is round about me? 6 Even of those whose faith is in their wealth, and whose hearts are lifted up because of their stores. 7 Truly, no man may get back his soul for a price, or give to God the payment for himself; 8 (Because it takes a great price to keep his soul from death, and man is not able to give it.) 9 So that he might have eternal life, and never see the underworld.
10 For he sees that wise men come to their end, and foolish persons of low behaviour come to destruction together, letting their wealth go to others. 11 The place of the dead is their house for ever, and their resting-place through all generations; those who come after them give their names to their lands. 12 But man, like the animals, does not go on for ever; he comes to an end like the beasts.
13 This is the way of the foolish; their silver is for those who come after them, and their children get the pleasure of their gold. (Selah.) 14 Death will give them their food like sheep; the underworld is their fate and they will go down into it; their flesh is food for worms; their form is wasted away; the underworld is their resting-place for ever. 15 But God will get back my soul; for he will take me from the power of death. (Selah.)
16 Have no fear when wealth comes to a man, and the glory of his house is increased; 17 For at his death, he will take nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. 18 Though he might have pride in his soul in his life-time, and men will give you praise if you do well for yourself, 19 He will go to the generation of his fathers; he will not see the light again. 20 Man, like the animals, does not go on for ever; he comes to an end like the beasts.