1 Hear this, all [you] peoples; give ear, all [you] inhabitants of [the] world, 2 both low and high, rich and poor together. 3 My mouth will speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart [will be] understanding. 4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will {propound} my riddle on a lyre.
5 Why should I fear in {times of calamity}, [when] iniquity surrounds me at my heels, 6 those who trust their wealth and boast about the abundance of their riches? 7 Surely a man cannot redeem a brother. He cannot give to God his ransom 8 (since the redemption price for their life is costly and it always fails), 9 so that he may stay alive forever [and] not see the pit.
10 For he sees [that] the wise die, together [with the] fool and brute they perish, and leave their wealth to the next [generation]. 11 Within them [they think] their houses [are] forever, their dwelling places from generation to generation. They {name} [their] lands by their [own] names. 12 But man cannot continue in [his] pomp. He is like the beasts [that] perish.
13 This [is] the journey [of those who] have foolish [confidence], and those after them [who] accept their sayings. Selah 14 Like sheep they are destined to Sheol; death will shepherd them. But the upright will rule over them in the morning, and their forms [will be for] Sheol to consume, [far from] his lofty abode. 15 Surely God will ransom my life from the {power} of Sheol, because he will receive me. Selah
16 Do not fear when a man becomes rich, when the wealth of his house increases, 17 because when he dies he will not take [away] any [of it]. His wealth will not follow down after him. 18 Though he congratulated his soul while he was living --and [people] will praise you when you do well for yourself-- 19 it will go to the generation of his fathers. Never will they see light. 20 Humankind in [its] pomp, but does not understand, is like the beasts [that] perish.