481The LORD is great and is to be highly praised
in the city of our God, on his sacred hill.48.1 sacred hill: See 2.6.
Zion, the mountain of God, is high and beautiful;
the city of the great king brings joy to all the world.
3God has shown that there is safety with him
inside the fortresses of the city.
4The kings gathered together
and came to attack Mount Zion.
5But when they saw it, they were amazed;
they were afraid and ran away.
6There they were seized with fear and anguish,
like a woman about to bear a child,
7like ships tossing in a furious storm.
8We have heard what God has done,
and now we have seen it
in the city of our God, the LORD Almighty;
he will keep the city safe for ever.
9Inside your Temple, O God,
we think of your constant love.
10You are praised by people everywhere,
and your fame extends over all the earth.
You rule with justice;
11let the people of Zion be glad!
You give right judgements;
let there be joy in the cities of Judah!
12People of God, walk round Zion and count the towers;
13take notice of the walls and examine the fortresses,
so that you may tell the next generation:
14“This God is our God for ever and ever;
he will lead us for all time to come.”
491Hear this, everyone!
Listen, all people everywhere,
2great and small alike,
rich and poor together.
3My thoughts will be clear;
I will speak words of wisdom.
4I will turn my attention to proverbs
and explain their meaning as I play the harp.
5I am not afraid in times of danger
when I am surrounded by enemies,
6by evil people who trust in their riches
and boast of their great wealth.
7A person can never redeem himself;
he cannot pay God the price for his life,
8because the payment for a human life is too great.
What he could pay would never be enough
9to keep him from the grave,
to let him live for ever.
10Anyone can see that even the wise die,
as well as the foolish and stupid.
They all leave their riches to their descendants.
11Their graves49.11 Some ancient translations graves; Hebrew inner thoughts. are their homes for ever;
there they stay for all time,
though they once had lands of their own.
12No one's greatness can save him from death;
he will still die like the animals.
13See what happens to those who trust in themselves,
the fate of those49.13 One ancient translation the fate of those; Hebrew after them. who are satisfied with their wealth —
14they are doomed to die like sheep,
and Death will be their shepherd.
The righteous will triumph over them,
as their bodies quickly decay
in the world of the dead far from their homes.49.14 in… homes; Hebrew unclear.
15But God will rescue me;
he will save me from the power of death.
16Don't be upset when someone becomes rich,
when his wealth grows even greater;
17he cannot take it with him when he dies;
his wealth will not go with him to the grave.
18Even if he is satisfied with this life
and is praised because he is successful,
19he will join all his ancestors in death,
where the darkness lasts for ever.
20His greatness cannot save him from death;
he will still die like the animals.
501The Almighty God, the LORD, speaks;
he calls to the whole earth from east to west.
2God shines from Zion,
the city perfect in its beauty.
3Our God is coming, but not in silence;
a raging fire is in front of him,
a furious storm is round him.
4He calls heaven and earth as witnesses
to see him judge his people.
5He says, “Gather my faithful people to me,
those who made a covenant with me by offering a sacrifice.”
6The heavens proclaim that God is righteous,
that he himself is judge.
7“Listen, my people, and I will speak;
I will testify against you, Israel.
I am God, your God.
8I do not reprimand you because of your sacrifices
and the burnt offerings you always bring me.
9And yet I do not need bulls from your farms
or goats from your flocks;
10all the animals in the forest are mine
and the cattle on thousands of hills.
11All the wild birds are mine
and all living things in the fields.
12“If I were hungry, I would not ask you for food,
for the world and everything in it is mine.
13Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14Let the giving of thanks be your sacrifice to God,50.14 Let the giving… to God; or Offer your thanksgiving sacrifice to God.
and give the Almighty all that you promised.
15Call to me when trouble comes;
I will save you,
and you will praise me.”
16But God says to the wicked,
“Why should you recite my commandments?
Why should you talk about my covenant?
17You refuse to let me correct you;
you reject my commands.
18You become the friend of every thief you see
and you associate with adulterers.
19“You are always ready to speak evil;
you never hesitate to tell lies.
20You are ready to accuse your own relatives
and to find fault with them.
21You have done all this, and I have said nothing,
so you thought that I was like you.
But now I reprimand you
and make the matter plain to you.
22“Listen to this, you that ignore me,
or I will destroy you,
and there will be no one to save you.
23Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honours me,
and I will surely save all who obey me.”