Exit Parallel Mode
 
30
Wise Sayings of Agur Son of Jakeh
1These are the wise sayings of Agur son of Jakeh from Massa. He says, “God, I am tired, so tired. How can I keep going?”#30:1 He says, “God, … keep going?” Or “This is his message to Ithiel and Ucal.”
2I am stupid. I am not as smart as other people are. 3I have not learned to be wise. I know nothing about the Holy One.#30:3 Holy One Literally, “the holy ones.” 4Who has ever gone up to heaven and come back down? Who gathered the winds in his hand? Who can gather up all the water in his lap? Who set the limits for the world? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Do you know?
5You can trust this: Every word that God speaks is true. God is a safe place for those who go to him. 6So don’t try to change what God says. If you do, he will punish you and prove that you are a liar.
7God, I ask you to do two things for me before I die. 8Don’t let me tell lies. And don’t make me too rich or too poor—give me only enough food for each day. 9If I have too much, I might deny that I need you, Lord. But if I am too poor, I might steal and bring shame to the name of my God.
10Never say bad things about a slave to his master. If you do, he will curse you, and you will suffer for it.
11Some people curse their fathers and refuse to bless their mothers.
12Some people think they are pure, but they have done nothing to remove the filth of their sin.
13Some people are so proud of themselves, and they look down on everyone else.
14There are people whose teeth are like swords and their jaws like knives. They take everything they can from the poor.
15Greedy people know only two things#30:15 Literally, “A leech has two daughters.”: “Give me,” and “Give me.” There are three other things that are never satisfied—really, four things that never have enough: 16the place of death, a woman with no children, dry ground that needs rain, and a fire that will never stop by itself.
17People who make fun of their father or refuse to obey their mother should have their eyes plucked out by wild birds and be eaten by vultures.
18There are three things that are hard for me to understand—really, four things that I don’t understand: 19an eagle flying in the sky, a snake moving on a rock, a ship moving across the ocean, and a man in love with a woman.
20A woman who is not faithful to her husband acts innocent. She eats, wipes her mouth, and says she has done nothing wrong.
21There are three things that make trouble on the earth—really, four that the earth cannot bear: 22a slave who becomes a king, fools who have everything they need, 23a woman whose husband hated her but still married her, and a servant girl who becomes ruler over the woman she serves.
24There are four things on the earth that are small but very wise:
25Ants are small and weak, but they save their food all summer;
26badgers are small animals, but they make their homes in the rocks;
27locusts have no king, but they are able to work together;
28lizards are small enough to catch with your hands, but you can find them living in kings’ palaces.
29There are three things that act important when they walk—really, there are four:
30a lion—he is the warrior of the animals and runs from nothing,
31a rooster walking proudly,#30:31 a rooster walking proudly Or possibly, “a greyhound” or “a war horse.”
a goat,
and a king among his people.
32If you have been foolish enough to become proud and make plans against other people, stop and think about what you are doing.
33Stirring milk causes butter to form. Hitting someone’s nose causes blood to flow. And making people angry causes trouble.
30
1 The words of Agur, son of Jakeh. Agur’s prophetic revelation.
Agur Speaks about God
[To God]
This man’s declaration:
“I’m weary, O God.
I’m weary and worn out, O God.
2 I’m more ⌊like⌋ a dumb animal than a human being.
I don’t ⌊even⌋ have human understanding.
3 I haven’t learned wisdom.
I don’t have knowledge of the Holy One.#Or “holy ones.”
[To the audience]
4 “Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in the palm of his hand?
Who has wrapped water in a garment?
Who has set up the earth from one end to the other?
What is his name or the name of his son?
Certainly, you must know!
5 “Every word of God has proven to be true.
He is a shield to those who come to him for protection.
6 Do not add to his words,
or he will reprimand you, and you will be found to be a liar.
A Prayer
[To God]
7 “I’ve asked you for two things.
Don’t keep them from me before I die:
8 Keep vanity and lies far away from me.
Don’t give me either poverty or riches.
Feed me ⌊only⌋ the food I need,
9 or I may feel satisfied and deny you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
or I may become poor and steal
and give the name of my God a bad reputation.
Against Slander
[To the audience]
10 “Do not slander a slave to his master.
The slave will curse you,
and you will be found guilty.”
Four Kinds of People
11 A certain kind of person curses his father
and does not bless his mother.
12 A certain kind of person thinks he is pure
but is not washed from his own feces.#Blunt Hebrew term but not considered vulgar.
13 A certain kind of person looks around arrogantly
and is conceited.
14 A certain kind of person,
whose teeth are like swords
and whose jaws are ⌊like⌋ knives,
devours oppressed people from the earth
and people from among humanity.
Human Bloodsuckers
15 The bloodsucking leech has two daughters—“Give!” and “Give!”
Four Things That Are Never Satisfied
Three things are never satisfied.
Four never say, “Enough!”:
16 the grave,
a barren womb,
a land that never gets enough water,
a fire that does not say, “Enough!”
Disrespectful Children—Their Punishment
17 The eye that makes fun of a father and hates to obey a mother
will be plucked out by ravens in the valley and eaten by young vultures.
Four Things of Intrigue
18 Three things are too amazing to me,
even four that I cannot understand:
19 an eagle making its way through the sky,
a snake making its way over a rock,
a ship making its way through high seas,
a man making his way with a virgin.
About the Woman Who Commits Adultery
20 This is the way of a woman who commits adultery:
She eats, wipes her mouth,
and says, “I haven’t done anything wrong!”
Four Things That Are Intolerable
21 Three things cause the earth to tremble,
even four it cannot bear up under:
22 a slave when he becomes king,
a godless fool when he is filled with food,
23 a woman who is unloved when she gets married,
a maid when she replaces her mistress.
Four Things That Are Small—Yet Smart and Strong
24 Four things on earth are small,
yet they are very wise:
25 Ants are not a strong species,
yet they store their food in summer.
26 Rock badgers are not a mighty species,
yet they make their home in the rocks.
27 Locusts have no king,
yet all of them divide into swarms by instinct.
28 A lizard you can hold in your hands,
yet it can even be found in royal palaces.
Four Things That Move with Dignity
29 There are three things that walk with dignity,
even four that march with dignity:
30 a lion, mightiest among animals, which turns away from nothing,
31 a strutting rooster,#Hebrew meaning of this line uncertain.
a male goat,
a king at the head of his army.#Hebrew meaning of “at the head of his army” uncertain.
Keep Calm and Quiet
32 If you are such a godless fool as to honor yourself,
or if you scheme,
you had better put your hand over your mouth.
33 As churning milk produces butter
and punching a nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger #In Hebrew there is a play on words in verse 33 where the same verb is used to express all three actions. produces a fight.