1
HEAR this, all people;
give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2
Children of earth and sons of men, rich and poor together.
3
My mouth shall speak of wisdom;
and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
4
I will incline my ear to parables;
I will chant my proverbs upon the harp.
5
I will fear not in days of evil, when the iniquity of my enemies shall surround me,
6
They who trust in their own strength and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches.
7
A brother cannot save a brother, nor can a man give to God a ransom for himself;
8
For the redemption of their souls is precious:
9
Do good for ever and you shall live for ever, and not see corruption.
10
But you will see wise men die;
likewise the fool and the weak minded shall perish and leave their wealth to others.
11
Their graves shall be their only habitations for ever, and their dwelling places throughout generations;
their marked graves will be their only remembrance on earth.
12
Nevertheless, such a man is not sustained by his honour;
his end will be as the beasts, and he will perish.
13
This their way is their folly;
in the end, demented, they will graze like cattle.
14
Like sheep they are consigned to the grave;
death shall feed on them;
and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning;
the grave shall consume their beauty, and they shall be cast out from their glory.
15
¶ But God will redeem my soul;
from the power of the grave he will raise me up.
16
Be not afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
17
For when he dies he shall carry nothing away;
neither shall his glory descend after him.
18
For while he lived, he lived comfortably;
he praised you when you favored him.
19
His end shall be as his father’s was before him;
they shall never see light.
20
Man cannot depend upon his honor for consolation, for if he does, he resembles the wild beasts.