Psalm 49

1 Hear this, all ye peoples;
Give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world,
2 Both low and high,
Rich and poor together.
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom;
And the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
4 I will incline mine ear to a parable:
I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

1-5. Let there be attention to the following: P. P.

2-4. By the sons of man — homo — are signified spiritual truths which are from the Lord by the Word, which are doctrinals, and by the sons of man — vir — are signified rational and natural truths, which are from the understanding, thus the understanding of the Word. By the rich and needy are signified those who attain much wisdom from them, and those who attain but little. E. 724.

5 See Psalm xxxiii. 2, 3. R. 276.

5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil,
When iniquity at my heels compasseth me about ?
6 They that trust in their wealth,
And boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;

6 By heel is meant the lowest natural or the corporeal. A. 259.

6, 7. Respecting those who are merely natural, and boast of knowledges and their own intelligence. P. P.

8 The propitiatory signifies cleansing from evils, thus the remission of sins. But it is to be noted that those expiations were not real cleansings from evils, nor remissions of sins, but that they represented them. A. 9506.

7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother,
Nor give to God a ransom for, him
8 (For the redemption of their life is costly.
And it faileth for ever),
9 That he should still live alway,
That he should not see corruption.
10 For he shall see it. Wise men die;
The fool and the brutish alike perish,
And leave their wealth to others.
11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue
for ever,
And their dwelling-places to all generations;
They call their lands after their own names.
12 But man being in honor abideth not:
He is like the beasts that perish.

8-10. No salvation comes from that source. P. P.

8, 16. A brother cannot ransom a man, but God will ransom my soul from the hand of hell. D. P., Page 87.

9 See Psalm xxxvi. 8. R. 789.

11 A beast of burden also, in the original tongue, is an expression derived from what is brutish and foolish, thus from what is only to a small degree Conscious. A. 9140.

11-14. However much they may boast of such things, they perish. P. P.

13 This their way is their folly:
Yet after them men approve their sayings. [Selah
14 They are appointed as a flock for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd:
And the upright shall have dominion over them in the
And their beauty shall be for Sheol to consume,
That there be no habitation for it.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol;
For he will receive me. [Selah]

15 and come into hell. P. P.
See Psalm ix. 14. A. 61 19.
See Psalm vi. 6. E. 186.

15, 16. See Psalm xviii. 5, 6. R. 321.
See Psalm xviii. 5, 6. R. 870.

16 See Psalm xxxi. 6, add: The Lord as to the Human
is the Redeemer. R. 281.

See Psalm xix. 15. R. 613.

Here to redeem from the power of the grave or hell means to liberate. To receive denotes to claim for his own and to conjoin them to himself, or to cause them to be His, as servants sold and redeemed. E. 328.

Salvation is solely in the Lord. P. P.

16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich,
When the glory of his house is increased:
17 For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away;
His glory shall not descend after him.
18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul
(And men praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself),
19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They shall never see the light.
20 Man that is in honor, and understandeth not,
Is like the beasts that perish.

17-21. Knowledge and one’s own intelligence does not save after death. P. P.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)