Psalms 49

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version

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1 Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:

2 Both low and high, 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 mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;

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 soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)

9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person 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 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.

15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

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 will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.

19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.

20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 299


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 259, 6119, 9140, 9506

Apocalypse Revealed 276, 281, 321, 613, 789, 870


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 186, 323, 328, 724

Scriptural Confirmations 19, 100

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 4:17

Numbers 23:7

Esther 5:11

Job 3:15, 6:23, 10:21

Psalms 4:3, 39:7, 42:1, 56:5, 7, 78:2, 89:49, 112:7, 8

Proverbs 18:11

Ecclesiastes 2:14, 21, 3:19, 5:14, 11:8

Isaiah 34:1

Jeremiah 9:22

Hosea 12:9, 13:14

Micah 1:2

Matthew 16:26

Mark 8:37, 10:24

Luke 12:19, 20

1 Timothy 6:7

Word/Phrase Explanations

hear
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

Inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

High
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

Poor
'Poor' signifies someone who is not in truths, and people who are ignorant of good and truth, but desire instruction.

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

wisdom
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving (Rev. 7.) signify divine spiritual things of the Lord.

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

parable
In Luke 8:5-8. Matthew 12:3-8 and Mark 4:3-8, 'the sower' is the Lord, and 'the seed' is His Word, and so, truth. 'The seed by...

Open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

Fear
Fear has various significations according to the thing which causes it. Fear signifies love. Fear, as in Gen 28:17, signifies a holy change.

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

iniquity
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

wealth
'Wealth and treasures' signify the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, and in the opposite sense, false knowledge from self derived intelligence.

multitude
A company, congregation, and a multitude, in the Word, are predicated of truths.

riches
When the Bible talks about riches, it is talking about spiritual wealth, not worldly wealth – ideas and knowledge about the Lord and spiritual things,...

none
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

Redeem
'To redeem' signifies vindication and liberation, because there are two words in the original language, which mean 'redemption.' One means vindication from evil, and the...

brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

Ransom
In Exodus 30:12, 'they shall give every a person a ransom for his soul,' signifies being purified or liberated from evil by the truth of...

still
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

wise men
'Wise men,' as in Matthew 23:34, signify the good of doctrine. 'The wise' signify people who teach the Word. 'They that be wise' signify being...

wise
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

die
Death in the Bible represents spiritual death, or the destruction of everything that is good and all true beliefs in someone. This happens when people...

Fool
By a fool is signified he who is in falsities and evils from the love of self; consequently, from self-derived intelligence. To say “thou fool"...

person
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

Perish
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.

thought
Those who are 'anxious' are not content with their own lot, and do not trust the Divine, but only themselves. They only look to worldly...

dwelling
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

call
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

Lands
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

names
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

beasts
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

Way
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

Folly
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 9:17: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

Sayings
'Sayings' denotes persuasion. 'Sayings,' when related to Jehovah, signify informing or instructing.

Selah
'Selah,' as in Genesis 11:12, signifies an aspect of science.

Grave
A grave, as in Psalm 88:5, signifies hell. ‘To come forth out of the grave,’ as in John 5:29, signifies to come forth out of...

Upright
'Upright' signifies truth originating in charity. Truth may be derived from various origins, but what originates in the good of charity from the Lord is...

over
Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

Beauty
Beauty of his ornament (Ezek. 7:20) signifies the church and its doctrine.

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

Power
Power,' as in Revelation 4, signifies salvation, because all divine power regards this as its final purpose. A person is reformed by divine power, and...

afraid
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

glory
We tend to speak somewhat casually of "truth from the Lord," but in actual fact the Writings tell us that in its true form the...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

blessed
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

Well
'A well,' as in Numbers 21:17-18, signifies the Word of the ancient church. 'A well,' or 'pit,' as in Luke 14:5, signifies falsity and the...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

generation
To “generate” something is to create it, and that idea underpins the meaning of a “generation” of people – it is a group that was...

light
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...


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