Words of Agur
1The words of Agur, Jakeh’s son, from Massa.
The man declares: I’m tired, God;
I’m tired, God, and I’m exhausted.
2Actually, I’m too stupid to be human,
a man without understanding.
3I haven’t learned wisdom,
nor do I have knowledge of the holy one.
4Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind by the handful?
Who has bound up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is this person’s name and the name of this person’s child—
if you know it?
5All God’s words are tried and true;
a shield for those who take refuge in him.
6Don’t add to his words,
or he will correct you and show you to be a liar.
7Two things I ask of you;
don’t keep them from me before I die:
8Fraud and lies—
keep far from me!
Don’t give me either poverty or wealth;
give me just the food I need.
9Or I’ll be full and deny you,
and say, "Who is the Lord?"
Or I’ll be poor and steal,
and dishonor my God’s name.
More sayings of the wise
10Don’t slander a servant to his master;
otherwise, the servant will curse you, and you will be guilty.
11There are those who curse their father
and don’t bless their mother.
12There are those who think they are clean,
but haven’t washed off their own excrement.
13There are those—
how arrogant are their eyes;
how their eyebrows are raised!
14There are those whose teeth are swords;
their jaw is a butcher’s knife,
ready to devour the needy from the earth,
and the poor from humanity.
15The leech has two daughters: “Give, give!”
There are three things that are never satisfied,
four that never say, “Enough!”:
16the grave#Heb Sheol and a barren womb,
a land never filled with water,
and fire that doesn’t say, “Enough!”
17An eye that mocks a father
and rejects obedience to a mother,
may the ravens of the river valley peck it out,
and the eagle’s young eat it.
18Three things are too wonderful for me,
four that I can’t figure out:
19the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on the rock,
the way of a ship out on the open sea,
and the way of a man with a young woman.
20This is the way of an adulterous woman:
she eats and wipes her mouth,
and she says, "I’ve done nothing wrong!"
21At three things the earth trembles,
at four it can’t bear up:
22at a servant when he becomes king
and fools when they are full of food;
23at a detested woman when she gets married
and a female servant when she replaces her mistress.
24Four things are among the smallest on earth,
but they are extremely wise:
25Ants as creatures aren’t strong,
but they store away their food in the summer.
26Badgers as creatures aren’t powerful,
but they make their homes in the rocks.
27Locusts don’t have a king,
but they march together in ranks.
28You can catch lizards in your hand,
but they are in kings’ palaces.
29There are three things that are excellent in their stride,
four that are excellent as they walk:
30a lion, a warrior among beasts,
which doesn’t back down at anything;
31the strut of a rooster or a male goat;
and a king with his army.
32If you’ve been foolish and arrogant,
if you’ve been scheming,
put your hand to your mouth,
33because churning milk makes curds,
squeezing the nose brings blood,
and stirring up anger produces strife.