1 O hear this, all you peoples:
give ear, all you inhabitants of the world,
2 All children of earth, offspring of Adam:
both rich and poor alike.
3 For my mouth shall speak wisdom:
and the thoughts of my heart
shall be full of understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a riddle:
and unfold the mystery to the sounds of the harp.
5 Why should I fear in the evil days:
when the wickedness of my deceivers surrounds me,
6 Though they trust to their great wealth:
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 No one may ransom another:
or give God a price for them,
8 So that they may live for ever:
and never see the grave;
9 For to ransom a life is so costly:
that it must be abandoned for ever.
10 For we see that the wise die:
and perish with the foolish and the ignorant,
leaving their wealth to others.
11 The tomb is their home for ever,
their dwelling-place throughout all generations:
though they called estates after their own names.
12 The rich without understanding:
are like the beasts that perish.