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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 49:10

 

 

For he sees that even wise men die; The stupid and the senseless alike perish And leave their wealth to others.

Adam Clarke Commentary

For he seeth that wise men die - Though they may be rich, and their wisdom teach them the best method of managing their riches so as to derive all the good from them they can possibly produce, yet they die as well as the fool and the poor ignorant man; and their wealth is left to others who will be equally disappointed in their expectation from it.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-49.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For he seeth that wise men die - He must see this; he does see it. He perceives that no one can be saved from death. It comes on all alike - the wise and the unwise. Nothing saves from it. The allusion is here especially to the “rich,” whether “they” are wise or whether they are fools and “brutish.” The simple fact, as stated, is that no matter what may be the character of the man of wealth, whether wise or foolish, he must certainly die His wealth cannot save him from the grave. The possessor of wealth himself “sees” this. It cannot be concealed from him.

Likewise the fool - The rich man who is a fool, or who is destitute of wisdom. He who is rich and who is wise - wise in the things of this life and wise unto salvation - (or who is gifted with a high degree of intelligence and who evinces wisdom in respect to the higher matters of existence) - and the rich man who is a fool - (who is regardless of his highest interests, and who evinces no special intelligence, though possessed of wealth) - all, all die alike.

And the brutish person - The rich man who is stupid and dull; who lives like a brute; who lives to eat and drink; who lives for gross sensuality - “he” dies as well as he who is wise. Wealth cannot in either case save from death. Whether connected with wisdom or folly - whether carefully husbanded or lavishly spent - whether a man employs it in the highest and noblest manner in which it can be devoted, or in the indulgence of the most low and debasing enjoyments - it is alike powerless in saving people from the grave.

And leave their wealth to others - It all passes into other hands. It “must” be so left. It cannot be carried away by its possessor when he goes into the eternal world. It not only cannot save him from the grave, but he cannot even take it with him. All his houses, his lands, his title-deeds, his silver, his gold, his parks, gardens, horses, hounds - all that he had accumulated with so much care, and worshipped with so idolatrous an affection, is not even his own in the sense that he can take it with him. The title passes absolutely into other hands, and even if he could come back to earth again, he could no longer claim it, for when he dies it ceases to be his forever. How powerless, then, is wealth in reference to the great purposes of human existence!


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-49.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For he seeth that wise men die,.... This is a reason convincing the rich man, that with all his riches he cannot redeem his brother from death; since he must see, by daily and constant experience, that none are exempted from dying, no, not even the wise man; and therefore, not the rich, since wisdom is better than riches, and is said to give life, Ecclesiastes 7:12; and yet wise men die, yea, Solomon, the wisest of men, died. Worldly wise men, such who are wiser in their generation than the children of light, know how, to get money and estates, and to provide for futurity, and yet cannot secure themselves from death: men that are wise in natural things, know the secrets of nature, the constitution of human bodies, what is proper to preserve health and life, as philosophers and physicians, and yet cannot deliver themselves from death: wise politicians, prudent magistrates, instructors of mankind in all the branches of useful knowledge, who are profitable to themselves and others, and are the most deserving to live because of usefulness, yet these die as well as others: such as are spiritually wise, wise unto salvation, who know themselves, and know Christ, whom to know is life eternal; and the wisest among them, such as are capable of teaching others the hidden and mysterious wisdom of God; even these wise men and prophets do not live for ever. The Targum interprets this of wicked wise men, condemned to hell; or as it is in the king's Bible,

"the wicked wise men, who die the second death;'

see Revelation 2:11; and are condemned to hell;

likewise the fool and the brutish person perish; the worldly fool, who trusts in his riches, and boasts of them; his soul is at once required of him. The atheistical fool, who says there is no God, no judgment, no future state; has made a covenant with death, and with hell is at an agreement; this covenant does not stand, he dies, and finds himself dreadfully mistaken: the fool that is so immorally, who makes a mock at sin, a jest of religion, and puts away the evil day far from him; his great wickedness, to which he is given, shall not deliver him from death. Every man is become brutish in his knowledge; but there are some among the people more brutish than others, who are as natural brute beasts, and shall utterly perish in their own corruptions. The wise good man dies, but perishes not; he inherits eternal life; but the wicked fool and brute not only perish by death, but are punished with everlasting destruction in soul and body;

and leave their wealth to others; they cannot carry it with them, so that it will be of no service to them after death any more than at it: if the Judge could be bribed by gold, as he cannot, they will not have it with them to do it; they came into the world naked, and so they will go out, and carry nothing with them, but leave all behind them; either to their babes, their children, and heirs, Psalm 17:14; or to strangers, they know not who; and if they do, they do not know whether they will be wise men or fools, or what use they will make of it, Psalm 39:6, Ecclesiastes 2:18.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-49.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For he seeth [that] wise men f die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to g others.

(f) In that that death makes no difference between the persons.

(g) That is, not to their children, but to strangers. Yet the wicked profit not by these examples, but still dream of immortality on earth.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-49.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

For he seeth — that is, corruption; then follows the illustration.

wise … fool — (Psalm 14:1; Proverbs 1:32; Proverbs 10:1).

likewise — alike altogether - (Psalm 4:8) - die - all meet the same fate.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-49.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

He seeth — Every man sees that all men die, the wise and the foolish; the evil and the good.

To others — He saith not to sons or kindred; but to others, because he is wholly uncertain to whom he shall leave them, to friends, or strangers, or enemies; which he mentions as a great vanity in riches. They neither can save them from death, nor will accompany him in and after death; and after his death will be disposed, he knows not how, nor to whom.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-49.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

10For he shall see that wise men die. I consider the ninth and tenth verses to be connected, and that it is the intention of the Psalmist to censure the folly of those who dream of spending an eternity in this world, and set themselves seriously to establish a permanent settlement in it, though they cannot but see their fellow-creatures cut down daily before their eyes by the stroke of death. It is a common proverb, that experience teaches fools, and they may be looked upon as something worse who will not lay to heart their mortality, when surrounded by so many convincing illustrations of it. This seems obviously to be the connection. These infatuated enemies of God, as if he had said, cannot fail to perceive that death is the universal lot of mankind, that the wise are equally liable to it with the foolish; and yet they persist in the imagination that they will remain here always, and will live as if they were never to quit with this world! They see what happens to others, that all, without exception or discrimination, are involved in the common mortality; and they must observe how often it happens that wealth passes into the hands of strangers The word אחרים, acherim, I translate strangers, rather than others; for although it may be extended to successors of any kind, yet I think that the Psalmist here supposes the case of wealth passing into the hands of those who are not our natural and lawful heirs, and cannot be considered in any sense as representing us. Many not only die, but die childless, and their name becomes extinct, which is an additional ingredient of bitterness in the cup of the worldling. And yet all these affecting lessons of experience are entirely lost upon them, and they still in their secret thoughts fondly cherish the idea of living here for ever. The Hebrew word קרב, kereb, means the middle of anything; but it is taken metaphorically to signify the heart, or inward parts of the man. Here it denotes that their secret thoughts are occupied with an imaginary eternity which they hope to enjoy upon earth. Another and more ingenious interpretation has been suggested by some, that as the word occasionally means a tomb, the Psalmist may here be satirising those who think to perpetuate their memory after death by rearing expensive mausoleums. (220) This view of the words is strained and unnatural; and what immediately follows proves that the other is the most correct, when it is added, that worldly men call out their names upon the earth; that is, make every exertion in their power to win reputation amongst their fellow-creatures. Their desire should be to have their names written in the book of life, and to be blessed before God and his holy angels; but their ambition is of another kind — to be renowned and extolled upon earth. By the expression, calling out, it is insinuated that the fame of ungodly men is but an empty sound. Some interpreters prefer reading, They have called their lands by their own names, (221) that they might leave some monument of themselves to posterity. But what the Psalmist seems chiefly to insist upon is, that they are wholly bent upon earthly renown.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-49.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 49:10 For he seeth [that] wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

Ver. 10. For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool] This to be a truth, etiam muta clamant cadavera, the dead corpses of both do preach and proclaim, by a dumb kind of eloquence. Death maketh no difference; Pallida mors aequo, &c. It is appointed for all men once to die. It lieth as a man’s lot, as the word αποκειται signifieth, Hebrews 9:27, and all men can say, We are all mortal; but, alas, we say it for most part, magis usu quam sensu, more of custom than feeling; for we live as if our lives were riveted upon eternity, and we should never come to a reckoning.

Heu vivunt heroines tanquam mors nulla sequatur,

Aut velut infernus fabula vana foret.

And the brutish person perish] His life and his hopes ending together. But it would be considered, that wise men die as well as fools, good men die as well as bad, yea, good men oft before the bad, Isaiah 57:1. Jeroboam’s best son died before the rest, because there was some good found in him ( ωκυμοροι οι θεοριλεις).

And leave their wealth to others] Nec aliis solum, sed et alienis, to mere strangers; this Solomon sets forth as a great vanity. It was therefore a good speech of a holy man once to a great lord, who had showed him his stately house and pleasant gardens: You had need make sure of heaven, or else when you die you will be a very great loser.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-49.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 49:10. For he seeth that wise men die For he seeth the wise die; as well as the fool and stupid, they perish, &c. As much as to say, "If riches could save at all from death, they would do it when in the hands of wise men: but they do not; for they die alike, the wise man and the fool; the former can make no more use of them than the latter." Mudge.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-49.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He seeth; an impersonal expression. Every man sees and knows it; it is visible and evident, both from reason and from universal experience, that all men die, without any difference between wise and fools, good and bad. To others; he saith not, to sons or kindred; but indefinitely, to others because he is wholly uncertain to whom he shall leave him, to friends, or strangers, or enemies; which he mentions as a great vanity in riches. They neither can save him from death, nor will accompany him in and after death, and after his death will be disposed he knows not how nor to whom.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-49.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10. Wise men—A designation not only of men of learning and mental endowments, but of prudence, virtue, and piety.

Fool… brutish person— The first is one who is dull, sluggish, of obdurate will, and averse to discipline, and always classed with impious persons; the second, “brutish,” are men who are distinguished for living for appetite, being of strong passions, and savage temper and stupid minds.

Die… perish—The wise men “die,” but the “fool” and “brutish” perish. There is a wreck of their plans and hopes. They are not annihilated; the word will not bear this sense, and the whole argument contradicts it; for the subject of discourse is moral rewards, not immortality of being. No language could define more diverse characters or rewards.

Leave their wealth to others—So that herein they have only a momentary advantage, and that in things of inferior worth.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-49.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 49:10. For he seeth — Every man sees and knows it; it is visible and evident, both from reason and from universal experience; wise men die, &c. — All men die, the wise and good, as well as the foolish and wicked; and leave their wealth to others — He saith not to sons or kindred, but indefinitely to others, because it is wholly uncertain to whom they shall leave it, to friends, or strangers, or enemies; which he mentions as a great vanity in riches. They neither can save him from death, nor will accompany him in and after death; and after his death will be disposed of, he knows not how, nor to whom.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-49.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Oxen. St. Jerome and Protestants, "the cattle upon a thousand hills." But our version is very good, and adopted by the Syriac, Ferrand, &c. (Calmet) --- Aleph means an ox as well as a thousand; and i may have been added to the preceding word, instead of u, at the beginning of this. (Berthier) --- We find u here improperly in either, "beast." (Houbigant) --- No mention is made of fishes, because they were not used as victims. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-49.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

he seeth = it must be seen.

And leave = They leave. Homonym: "azab. See note on Exodus 23:5; or, fortify, or strengthen by increasing or laying them up.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-49.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-49.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
wise
Ecclesiastes 2:16-21; 9:1,2; Romans 5:12-14; Hebrews 9:27
fool
73:22; 92:6,7; 94:8; Proverbs 12:1; 30:2; Jeremiah 10:8
leave
17; 17:14; 39:6; Proverbs 11:4; Ecclesiastes 2:18,19,21,26; 5:13-16; Jeremiah 17:11; Luke 12:20; 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Copyright Statement
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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 49:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-49.html.

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