Portions adapted by Julie Tennent from the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter
1Hear this, all people, and give ear, all in the world that dwell;
2Both low and high, both rich and poor; My mouth shall wisdom tell:
3My heart will knowledge mediate; I will incline my ear
4to parables, and on the harp, my riddle will declare.
5Amidst the evil days that come, why should I fear or doubt?
When workers of iniquity shall compass me about.
6All those who trust in their own wealth, and boast of rich array;
7Not one can others’ life redeem, or ransom for him pay.
8The ransom for a life is high – no payment will suffice,
9For man to live forever, from decay to keep his life.
10For all can see that wise men die, the senseless fools also;
They all alike do perish, their wealth does to others go.
11Their tombs remain their dwelling place for generations all;
Though they had planned for all their land, by their name to be called.
12But man, despite his wealth, must die – he does not long endure;
He is like beasts that perish, and whose life will be no more.
13This is the fate of all whose trust is in themselves alone;
And also of their followers, who reap the seed they’ve sown.
14Like sheep, they in the grave are laid, and death shall them devour;
And in the morning upright men shall over them have pow’r.
Their lives, far from their earthly homes, will decay in the grave;
15But God will take me to Himself, redeem my life and save.
16Do not be awed when men grow rich, when splendor does increase;
17For nothing can he take with him, when life on earth does cease.
18Though he was sure his life was blessed while he on earth did live;
(and when you prosper, many will to you high praises give).
19Yet all will go together where their fathers went before;
The light of life they’ll never see – their lives will be no more.
20Despite great wealth, if man has not God’s wisdom, in the end,
he will be like the beasts that die, and to the ground descend.