July 27, 2017: Verse of the day

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7–9 The confident answer begins with an interjection—“surely” (see Notes). Because death is the common experience of humankind, rich and poor alike, the rich cannot boast of any advantage over the poor. They cannot use their money to redeem themselves from death or to send a substitute for themselves. They may live on a grandiose scale so as to give the impression that they will live forever, but they, too, must ultimately face death for what it is—a separation from the land of the living, from the comforts of life, and from social and economic distinctions. This separation is summed up in one word: “the pit” (v. 9; NIV, “decay”). The “pit,” as a synonym for “Sheol” (cf. 16:10), signifies death and possibly retribution for the evil done in life (cf. 94:13).[1]


7–9 Redeemransom, the first word emphasizes finding the price, the second, covering the need. But no payment is sufficient to buy eternal life. Life of another. The Hebrew says ‘even a brother’, i.e. even in a case where love would hold nothing back. There is a case where payment can commute the death penalty (Ex. 21:30)—but Death itself cannot be bought off! [2]


49:7–9 No man can. No person, regardless of his means, is able to escape death; it is inevitable (Heb 9:27). This passage anticipates the second death of hell (cf. Rev 20:11–15), except for those who by faith have repented of their sin and embraced the only adequate ransom—the one paid by the Lord Jesus Christ with His death on the cross (cf. Mt 20:28; 1Pe 1:18, 19).[3]


49:7 Reliance on God is the only solution to death. Such reliance anticipates faith in Christ’s resurrection (Rom. 10:9) and the hope for our future resurrection (1 Cor. 15:42–57; 1 Thess. 4:13–18).[4]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 423). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Motyer, J. A. (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 517). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 49:7–9). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 997). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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