Psalm 49 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Psalm 49)
49:1 «To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.» Hear a this, all [ye] people; give ear, all [ye] inhabitants of the world:

(a) He will intreat how God governs the world by his providence which cannot be perceived by the judgment of the flesh.

49:5 Wherefore should I b fear in the days of evil, [when] the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

(b) Though wickedness reigns and enemies rage, seeing God will execute his judgments against the wicked at a suitable time.

49:6 They that trust in their c wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;

(c) To trust in riches is madness, seeing they can neither restore life, nor prolong it.

49:8 (For the redemption of their soul [is] d precious, e and it ceaseth for ever:)

(d) That is, so rare or not to be found, as prophecy was precious in the days of Eli, (1 Samuel 3:1).
(e) Meaning it is impossible to live for ever: also that life and death are only in God's hands.

49:10 For he seeth [that] wise men f die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to g others.

(f) In that that death makes no difference between the persons.
(g) That is, not to their children, but to strangers. Yet the wicked profit not by these examples, but still dream of immortality on earth.

49:12 Nevertheless man [being] in honour abideth not: he is like the h beasts [that] perish.

(h) Concerning the death of the body.

49:13 This their way [is] their folly: yet their posterity i approve their sayings. Selah.

(i) They speak and do the same thing that their fathers did.

49:14 k Like sheep they are laid in the grave; l death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the m morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.

(k) As sheep are gathered into the fold, so shall they be brought to the grave.
(l) Because they have no part of life everlasting.
(m) Christ's coming is as the morning, when the elect will reign with Christ their head over the wicked.

49:18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and n [men] will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.

(n) The flatterers praise them who live in delight and pleasures.

49:19 o He shall go to the generation of his fathers; p they shall never see light.

(o) And not pass the term appointed for life.
(p) Both they and their fathers will live here but a while and at length die forever.

49:20 Man [that is] in honour, and q understandeth not, is like the beasts [that] perish.

(q) He condemns man's ingratitude, who having received excellent gifts from God, abuses them like a beast to his own condemnation.