Audite hæc, omnes
Hear this, all you peoples;
hearken, all you who dwell in the world, *
you of high degree and low, rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak of wisdom, *
and my heart shall meditate on understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb *
and set forth my riddle upon the harp.
Why should I be afraid in evil days, *
when the wickedness of those at my heels surrounds me,
The wickedness of those who put their trust in their goods, *
and boast of their great riches?
We can never ransom ourselves, *
or deliver to God the price of our life;
For the ransom of our life is so great, *
that we should never have enough to pay it,
In order to live for ever and ever, *
and never see the grave.
For we see that the wise die also;
like the dull and stupid they perish *
and leave their wealth to those who come after them.
Their graves shall be their homes for ever,
their dwelling places from generation to generation, *
though they call the lands after their own names.
Even though honored, they cannot live for ever; *
they are like the beasts that perish.
Such is the way of those who foolishly trust in themselves, *
and the end of those who delight in their own words.
Like a flock of sheep they are destined to die;
Death is their shepherd; *
they go down straightway to the grave.
Their form shall waste away, *
and the land of the dead shall be their home.
But God will ransom my life; *
he will snatch me from the grasp of death.
Do not be envious when some become rich, *
or when the grandeur of their house increases;
For they will carry nothing away at their death, *
nor will their grandeur follow them.
Though they thought highly of themselves while they lived, *
and were praised for their success,
They shall join the company of their forebears, *
who will never see the light again.
Those who are honored, but have no understanding, *
are like the beasts that perish.
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” *
All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;
there is none who does any good.
God looks down from heaven upon us all, *
to see if there is any who is wise,
if there is one who seeks after God.
Every one has proved faithless;
all alike have turned bad; *
there is none who does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, those evildoers *
who eat up my people like bread
and do not call upon God?
See how greatly they tremble,
such trembling as never was; *
for God has scattered the bones of the enemy;
they are put to shame, because God has rejected them.
Oh, that Israel’s deliverance would come out of Zion! *
when God restores the fortunes of his people
Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.