- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Eternity, Heaven and Hell
- Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 19:40
Please explain Psalm 49:8
Psalm 49:8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
Verses 6 and 7 circumscribe the power of riches; for all the wealth of the world cannot redeem a brother, nor give to God a ransom for him. The word for “redeem” is not the more usual word gã’al (subst. go’el. Job 19:25; Jeremiah 50:34), but pãdãh—to loose, hence to redeem by paying a price, to let go—preserve (Numbers 18:15; Psalm 25:22). The word for “ransom” is the atonement word—Kopher.
Now comes the subject of the question (v. 8): “For the redemption (pidyon, same root as pãdãh) of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever.” This certainly seems ambiguous, but the R.V. is an improvement, if more correct: “For the redemption of their soul is costly, and must be let alone for ever.” This almost goes back to the English version known as “the Great Bible” brought out in 1539, under the superintendence of Miles Coverdale (subsequent to his own well-known translation), the Psalter of which is still found embedded in the “Book of Common Prayer” of the “Established Church.” This version runs: “It cost more to redeem their souls, so that he must let that alone for ever.” The meaning then seems plain; Redemption is beyond man’s means, so it is wiser to let that alone. But verse comes in as the positive solution. “But God will redeem (pãdãh) my soul from the power of the grave, for He will receive me.”