Theme I. 1,2. All to hear. " II. 3,4. I will speak. The theme announces an Enigma, and the solution is the Incarnation and work of the Redeemer. I. vv.1,2. II. vv.3,4. Hear. Low Mouth. Ear. Peoples. High. Wisdom. Parable. Give ear. Rich. Heart. Dark saying. Inhabitants. Poor. Understanding. Harp. B B v 5. Why fear? [2 lines]. w 6-9. No redemption from man [4 lines]. x 10-. Death [2 lines]. y -10,11. Worldly wisdom [4 lines]. C 12. Man like the beast [2 lines]. B y 13. Worldly wisdom [2 lines]. Selah. x 14. Death [2 lines]. w 15. Redemption for me [2 lines]. Selah. v 16-19. Fear not! [4 lines]. C 20. Man like the beasts [2 lines].
1 Hear this, all you peoples; give ear,
All you inhabitants of this world [age]: (= Trasitoriness. Heb. heled = the world as transitory, as in 17:14. Cp. 39:5, "age"; 89:47, "time". Job. 11:17.)
2 Both low (= sons of 'adam) and high (= sons of 'ish),
Rich and helpless, alike.
3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom;
And the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a parable:
I will open my deep saying upon the harp.
5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, (his were in Matt. 26:38. Luke 22:44,53. John 12:27. Heb. 5:7.)
When the perverseness of my heels (or footsteps, put for the whole person in order to call attention to, and thus emphasize, the reference to 3:15. When our iniquities were laid upon Christ, then He was vulnerable and was wounded for our transgressions) shall compass me about?
6 They that trust in their wealth,
And boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
7 No man of them can by any means deliver by power (see Ex. 6:6. and 13:13) his brother,
Nor give to God atonement for himself:
8 (For the delivery by power of them is costly (or, so costly is it that,&c.),
And the redemption of themselves ceases for ever:)
9 That he should still live on continually,
And not see destruction (i.e. in the grave).
10 For it must be seen that wise men die,
Likewise the fool and the brutish person perish,
They 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 Nevertheless man (Heb. 'adam. This corresponds with v.20) being in honor abides not:
He is like the beasts that perish.
13 This their way is their folly:
Yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. (Connecting the fact of v.14 with their thought of vv.11,12, and explaining the folly of v.13)
14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave;
Death shall shepherd them;
And the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; (I. e the resurrection morning = the "first" resurrection of Rev. 20:6; resurrection of "life" [John 5:29]; "the just" [Acts 24:15]. Luke 14:14. Dan. 12:2,&c.)
And their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. (I.e. [far] from their [former] lofty house, in contrast with "the grave." See 1 Kings 8;13.)
15 But God will redeem me, myself from the hand of the grave: (grave = Sheol;)
For He shall take me out of the grave (Sheol;). Selah. (Connecting the fear and the folly of the hopeless man with the true hope and wisdom which takes away fear.)
16 Be not you afraid when a man is made rich, (This, with v.5, give the scope of this Psalm.)
When the glory of his house is increased;
17 For when he dies he shall carry nothing away:
His glory shall not descend after him.
18 For while he lived he blessed himself:
And [though] men praise you when, you do well to yourself.
19 He shall go to the generation of his (i.e. the man's) fathers;
They (i.e. those fathers) shall never see light.
20 Man that is in honor, and understands not,
Is like the beasts that perish.