Psalm 49  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Psalms 49
 
Psa 49:1(top)
Psa 49:2(top)
Psa 49:3(top)
Psa 49:4(top)
Psa 49:5

“of those who deceive me.” The Masoretic Hebrew text reads, “of my heels,” which can be understood in a few different ways. The word “heel” can be understood as “supplanter” (as with “Jacob,” the supplanter, the “heel grabber;” cp. Keil and Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary). Or it can refer to those “at the heels,” those seeking to trip the psalmist up in various ways. Or the Hebrew might have not been copied correctly and a slight emendation would yield readings such as “those who deceive me.” Most critical commentaries on Psalms cover the options in some detail.

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Psa 49:6(top)
Psa 49:7

“nor give God a ransom for him.” The scholars debate whether this second stanza is saying the same thing as the first (cp. CJB; CSB; NIV) or whether the second “him” should be “himself” (cp. NAB; NJB; NRSV; ROT). Even if the second stanza refers to the same person as the first stanza, it is still true that a person cannot pay to ransom himself from death. There has to be a redeemer who can pay, and that redeemer is Jesus Christ.

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Psa 49:8

“life.” The Hebrew word is nephesh (#05315 נֶפֶשׁ), often translated “soul,” and here it refers to human life. The redemption payment for a human life is costly. So costly in fact that no sinful human can pay it, it had to be paid for by the innocent blood of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, the second Adam. [For more on the meaning of “nephesh,” see Appendix 7, “Usages of ‘Soul’”].

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Psa 49:9

“see the pit.” That is, experience death and being dead, lifeless, “in Sheol.” This is an example of the word “see” meaning “experience.” [For more on the dead being dead see Appendix 4, “The Dead Are Dead”].

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Psa 49:10(top)
Psa 49:11(top)
Psa 49:12(top)
Psa 49:13(top)
Psa 49:14

“The upright will have dominion over them in the morning.” This is a reference to the fact that when this “present evil age” (Gal. 1:4) is over, the wicked will no longer rule the godly, but the godly will have their day of vengeance and dominion. The ungodly will be resurrected and judged, and then will be condemned to the Lake of Fire and everlasting death. Thus, as the Psalm says, the ungodly are appointed for Sheol, the state of being dead, because that is their eternal destiny.

[For information on the dead being dead until the resurrection, see Appendix 4: “The Dead are Dead.” For more on “Sheol” referring to the state of being dead, see commentary on Rev. 20:13. For more on the resurrections, see commentary on Acts 24:15. For more on the soul not being immortal but dying when the person dies, see Appendix 7, “Usages of ‘Soul’”].

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Psa 49:15

“soul.” The Hebrew word “soul” is nephesh (#05315 נֶפֶשׁ), and here it refers either to the human life or to the person himself. The verse can legitimately be translated either as “redeem me from the power of Sheol” (CJB; GWN; NIV), or “redeem my life from the power of Sheol” (HCSB; NAB; NET). In the mind of the Psalmist, “redeem my nephesh from the power of Sheol” referred to the living person being redeemed from the power of Sheol, so both “me” and “my life” referred to the same basic thing. This is a very good verse that shows that when a person dies, his life force, his “soul,” does not “go to heaven or to hell,” but is in Sheol. Sheol is the state of being dead. When a person dies, he is “in Sheol” and is dead in every way: body, soul, and spirit, and is awaiting the resurrection from the dead. [For more on the meaning of “soul,” see Appendix 7, “Usages of ‘Soul.’” For more on the dead being dead and not alive in any way or form, see Appendix 4, “The Dead are Dead”].

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Psa 49:16(top)
Psa 49:17(top)
Psa 49:18(top)
Psa 49:19(top)
Psa 49:20(top)
  

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