Psalm 49:8

(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)

For the redemption of their soul is precious,.... Or "heavy" {s}; it is, as Jarchi observes, "heavier than their substance": it is too weighty a matter for the richest man in the world to engage in; he is not equal to it; his riches are not an equivalent to the redemption of a soul which has sinned, and which is of more worth than the whole world: "what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" or another for him? all the substance of his house would be utterly despised. It requires a greater price for the redemption of it than gold and silver, and therefore it is impossible to be obtained by any such means; and which may be the sense of the word here, as Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it; and so it is used for that which is "rare", "difficult", yea, "impossible", not to be found or come at, in 1 Samuel 3:1. The only price of redemption of the soul is the precious blood of Christ; his life is the ransom price, yea, he himself, 1 Peter 1:18 1 Timothy 2:6; nor is the redemption of the soul possible upon any other ground;

and it ceaseth for ever; that is, the redemption of the soul; it must have ceased, it could never have been accomplished, had not Christ undertook it and performed it; he has obtained eternal redemption, and in him we have it, and in no other. Or the words may be rendered, "and he ceaseth for ever"; the brother, whose soul or life is to be redeemed, he dies; see Psalms 12:1; and dies the second and eternal death, for aught his brother can do for him, with all his riches: or he that attempts to redeem him, "he leaves off for ever" {t}; see Psalms 36:3; whether he will or not, as Jarchi observes; he ceases from redeeming his brother; he finds he cannot do it; his endeavours are vain and fruitless. Some join and connect these words with the following, "and it ceaseth for ever, that he should still live for ever", &c. that is, it is impossible that such an one by such means should live for ever. Gussetius {u} renders and interprets the words quite to another sense, "but the redemption of their soul shall come": the true redemption price by Christ; and which, being once paid and perfectly done, "ceaseth for ever", and shall never be required more; so that he for whom it is made "shall live for ever", as in Psalms 49:9, which is a truly evangelic sense.

{s} rqy "gravis", De Dieu, Michaelis.
{t} ldx "definet", Montanus, Vatablus.
{u} Ebr. Comment. p. 345.