New American Standard Bible
As sheep they are appointed for Sheol; Death shall be their shepherd; And the upright shall rule over them in the morning, And their form shall be for Sheol to consume So that they have no habitation.
King James Bible
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.
Darby Bible Translation
Like sheep are they laid in Sheol: Death feedeth on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their comeliness shall be for Sheol to consume, that there be no habitation for them.
World English Bible
They are appointed as a flock for Sheol. Death shall be their shepherd. The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. Their beauty shall decay in Sheol, far from their mansion.
Young's Literal Translation
As sheep for Sheol they have set themselves, Death doth afflict them, And the upright rule over them in the morning, And their form is for consumption. Sheol is a dwelling for him.
Psalm 49:14 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Like sheep they are laid in the grave - The allusion here is to a flock as "driven" forward by the shepherd; and the meaning is that they are driven forward to the grave, as it were, in flocks, or as a flock of sheep is driven by a shepherd. The word rendered "are laid" - שׁתוּ śatû - is probably not derived from the verb שׁות śûth, or שׁית śı̂yth, as our translators seem to have supposed, but from שׁתת śâthath, to set, or place; and the meaning is, "Like sheep they put them in Sheol, or the grave;" that is, they thrust or drive them down there. In other words, this is "done," without intimating by whom it is done. They are urged forward; they are driven toward the tomb as a flock of sheep is driven forward to the slaughter. Some influence or power is pressing them in masses down to the grave. The word rendered "grave" is "Sheol." It is sometimes used in the sense of the grave, and sometimes as referring to the abode of departed spirits. See Job 10:21-22, note; Psalm 6:5, note. It seems here to be used in the former sense.
Death shall feed on them - The word rendered "feed" here - רעה râ‛âh - means properly to feed a flock; to pasture; then, to perform the office of a shepherd. The idea here is not, as in our translation, "death shall feed on them;" but, death shall rule over them as the shepherd rules his flock. The allusion to the "flock" suggested this. They are driven down to the grave, or to Sheol. The shepherd, the ruler, he who does this, is "death;" and the idea is not that death is a hungry monster, devouring them "in" the grave, but that the shepherd over that "flock," instead of being a kind and gentle friend and protector (as the word "shepherd" naturally suggests), is "death" - a fearful and grim Ruler of the departed. The idea, therefore, is not that of "feeding," specifically, but it is that of ruling, controlling, guiding. So the Septuagint, θάνατος ποιμανεῖ αὐτούς thanatos poimanei autous. The Vulgate, however, renders it, "mors depascet eos;" and Luther, "der Tod naget sie;" death gnaws or feeds on them.
And the upright - The just; the righteous. The meaning of this part of the verse undoubtedly is, that the just or pious would have some kind of ascendancy or superiority over them at the period here referred to as the "morning."
Shall have dominion over them - Or rather, as DeWette renders it, shall "triumph" over them. That is, will be exalted over them; or shall have a more favored lot. Though depressed now, and though crushed by the rich, yet they will soon have a more exalted rank, and a higher honor than those who, though once rich, are laid in the grave tinder the dominion of death.
In the morning - That is, very soon; tomorrow; when the morning dawns after the darkness of the present. See the notes at Psalm 30:5. There is a time coming - a brighter time - when the relative condition of the two classes shall be changed, and when the upright - the pious - though poor and oppressed now, shall be exalted to higher honors than "they" will be. There is no certain evidence that this refers to the "morning" of the resurrection; but it is language which well expresses the idea when connected with that doctrine, and which can be best explained on the supposition that that doctrine was referred to, and that the hope of such a resurrection was cherished by the writer. Indeed, when we remember that the psalmist expressly refers to the "grave" in regard to the rich, it is difficult to explain the language on any other supposition than that he refers here to the resurrection - certainly not as well as on this supposition - and especially when it is remembered that death makes no distinction in cutting down people, whether they are righteous or wicked. Both are laid in the grave alike, and "any" prospect of distinction or triumph in the case must be derived from scenes beyond the grave. This verse, therefore, may belong to that class of passages in the Old Testament which are founded on the belief of the resurrection of the dead without always expressly affirming it, and which are best explained on the supposition that the writers of the Old Testament were acquainted with that doctrine, and drew their hopes as well as their illustrations from it. Compare Daniel 12:2; Isaiah 26:19; Psalm 16:9-10.
And their beauty - Margin, "strength." The Hebrew word means "form, shape, image;" and the idea here is, that their form or figure will be changed, or disappear, to wit, by consuming away. The idea of "beauty," or "strength," is not necessarily in the passage, but the meaning is, that the form or figure which was so familiar among people will be dissolved, and disappear in the grave.
Shall consume in the grave - Hebrew, "in Sheol." The word probably means here "the grave." The original word rendered "consume," means literally to make old; to wear out; to waste away. The entire form of the man will disappear.
From their dwelling - Margin, "the grave being a habitation to every one of them." Septuagint, "and their help shall grow old in the grave from their glory." So the Latin Vulgate. The whole expression is obscure. The most probable meaning is, "they shall consume in the grave, "from its being a dwelling to him;"" that is, to each of them. Sheol, or the grave, becomes a dwelling to the rich man, and in that gloomy abode - that which is now his dwelling - he consumes away. It pertains to that dwelling, or it is one of the conditions of residing there, that all consume away and disappear. Others render it, "so that there is no dwelling or habitation for them." Others, and this is the more common interpretation, "their form passes away, the underworld is their habitation." See DeWette in loc. This last rendering requires a slight change in the punctuation of the original. DeWette, Note, p. 339. The "general" idea in the passage is plain, that the possessors of wealth are soon to find their home in the grave, and that their forms, with all on which they valued themselves, are soon to disappear.
LibraryThe Lapse of Time.
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."--Eccles. ix. 10. Solomon's advice that we should do whatever our hand findeth to do with our might, naturally directs our thoughts to that great work in which all others are included, which will outlive all other works, and for which alone we really are placed here below--the salvation of our souls. And the consideration of this great work, …
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII
Sense in Which, and End for which all Things were Delivered to the Incarnate Son.
The Covenant of Works
Question Lxxxi of the virtue of Religion
1 Corinthians 6:2
Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?
'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;
"Drought and heat consume the snow waters, So does Sheol those who have sinned.
The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.
A man who wanders from the way of understanding Will rest in the assembly of the dead.
'But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.'
"You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing," says the LORD of hosts.
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