bible study tools
Index Bibles History Writings Devotionals Commentary Concordances Dictionaries Biographies Link To Us bible commentaries
Bible Resources
• Bible Study Aids
• Bible Devotionals
• Audio Sermons
• ChristiansUnite Blogs
• Christian Forums
• Facebook Apps
Web Search
• Christian Family Sites
• Top Christian Sites
• Christian RSS Feeds
Family Life
• Christian Finance
• ChristiansUnite KIDS
• Christian Magazines
• Christian Book Store
• Christian News
• Christian Columns
• Christian Song Lyrics
• Christian Mailing Lists
• Christian Singles
• Christian Classifieds
• Free Christian Clipart
• Christian Wallpaper
Fun Stuff
• Clean Christian Jokes
• Bible Trivia Quiz
• Online Video Games
• Bible Crosswords
• Christian Guestbooks
• Banner Exchange
• Dynamic Content
Subscribe to our Free Newsletter.
Enter your email address:

Search the Bible
Use the:
Print Version Main Index : Commentaries : JFB Commentary : Psalms Index : Chapter 49

Psalms, Chapter 49
Chapter 48 | Chapter 50
Go To Chapter:

Bible Version
Cross Reference
Matthew Henry
JFB Commentary
Wesley's Notes
Geneva Study Bible
View Psalms 49 in the note window.

      Ps 49:1-20. This Psalm instructs and consoles. It teaches that earthly advantages are not reliable for permanent happiness, and that, however prosperous worldly men may be for a time, their ultimate destiny is ruin, while the pious are safe in God's care.

      1-3. All are called to hear what interests all.
      world--literally, "duration of life," the present time.

      4. incline-- to hear attentively (Ps 17:6 31:2).
      parable--In Hebrew and Greek "parable" and "proverb" are translations of the same word. It denotes a comparison, or form of speech, which under one image includes many, and is expressive of a general truth capable of various illustrations. Hence it may be used for the illustration itself. For the former sense, "proverb" (that is, one word for several) is the usual English term, and for the latter, in which comparison is prominent, "parable" (that is, one thing laid by another). The distinction is not always observed, since here, and in Ps 78:2; "proverb" would better express the style of the composition (compare also Pr 26:7,9 Hab 2:6 Joh 16:25,29). Such forms of speech are often very figurative and also obscure (compare Mt 13:12-15). Hence the use of the parallel word--
      dark saying--or, "riddle" (compare Eze 17:2).
      open--is to explain.
      upon the harp--the accompaniment for a lyric.

      5. iniquity--or, "calamity" (Ps 40:12).
      of my heels--literally "my supplanters" (Ge 27:36), or oppressors: "I am surrounded by the evils they inflict."

      6. They are vainglorious.

      7-9. yet unable to save themselves or others.

      8. it ceaseth for ever--that is, the ransom fails, the price is too precious, costly.

      9. corruption--literally, "pit," or, "grave," thus showing that "soul" is used for "life" (Ps 49:8).

      10. For he seeth--that is, corruption; then follows the illustration.
      wise . . . fool--(Ps 14:1 Pr 1:32 10:1).
      likewise--alike altogether--(Ps 4:8)--die--all meet the same fate.

      11. Still infatuated and flattered with hopes of perpetuity, they call their lands, or "celebrate their names on account of (their) lands."

      12. Contrasted with this vanity is their frailty. However honored, man
      abideth not-- literally, "lodgeth not," remains not till morning, but suddenly perishes as (wild) beasts, whose lives are taken without warning.

      13. Though their way is folly, others follow the same course of life.

      14. Like sheep--(compare Ps 49:12) unwittingly, they
      are laid--or, "put," &c.
      death shall feed on--or, better, "shall rule"
      them--as a shepherd (compare "feed," Ps 28:9, Margin).
      have dominion over--or, "subdue"
      them in the morning--suddenly, or in their turn.
      their beauty--literally, "form" or shape.
      shall consume--literally, "is for the consumption," that is, of the grave.
      from their dwelling--literally, "from their home (they go) to it," that is, the grave.

      15. The pious, delivered from "the power of the grave."
      power--literally, "the hand," of death, are taken under God's care.

      16-19. applies this instruction. Be not anxious (Ps 37:1, &c.), since death cuts off the prosperous wicked whom you dread.

      18. Though . . . lived, &c.--literally, "For in his life he blessed his soul," or, "himself" (Lu 12:19,16:25); yet (Ps 49:19); he has had his portion.
      men will praise . . . thyself--Flatterers enhance the rich fool's self-complacency; the form of address to him strengthens the emphasis of the sentiment.

      20. (Compare Ps 49:12). The folly is more distinctly expressed by "understandeth not," substituted for "abideth not."

Chapter 48 | Chapter 50
Psalms Index | Table of Contents
Go To Chapter:

More From ChristiansUnite...    About Us | Privacy Policy | | Site Map | Statement of Beliefs

Copyright © 1999-2019 All rights reserved.
Please send your questions, comments, or bug reports to the

Like This Page?