Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 49:10

Adam Clarke
Bible 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.

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!

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Here is a description of the spirit and way of worldly people. A man may have wealth, and may have his heart enlarged in love, thankfulness, and obedience, and may do good with it. Therefore it is not men's having riches that proves them to be worldly, but their setting their hearts upon them as the best things. Worldly men have only some floating thoughts of the things of God, while their fixed thoughts, their inward thoughts, are about the world; that lies nearest the heart. But with all their wealth they cannot save the life of the dearest friend they have. This looks further, to the eternal redemption to be wrought out by the Messiah. The redemption of the soul shall cost very dear; but, being once wrought, it shall never need to be repeated. And he, the Redeemer, shall rise again before he sees corruption, and then shall live for evermore, Re 1:18. This likewise shows the folly of worldly people, who sell their souls for that which will never buy them. With all their wealth they cannot secure themselves from the stroke of death. Yet one generation after another applaud their maxims; and the character of a fool, as drawn by heavenly Wisdom itself, Lu 12:16-21, continues to be followed even among professed Christians. Death will ask the proud sinner, Where is thy wealth, thy pomp? And in the morning of the resurrection, when all that sleep in the dust shall awake, the upright shall be advanced to the highest honour, when the wicked shall be filled with everlasting shame and contempt, Da 12:2. Let us now judge of things as they will appear in that day. The beauty of holiness is that alone which the grave cannot touch, or damage.