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VII. The Sayings of Agur (30:1–33)
Chapter 30

Vv. 2-6. The Hebrew of v. 2 is unintelligible. By dividing the letters differently (see NIV footnote), the verse begins the complaint of a skeptic who declares that humanity can know nothing about God. An answer is given in vv. 5-6; God has revealed himself through his word. God's word is both that written in Scripture and in nature.

Vv. 7-9. This is a prayer to avoid the temptations of both wealth and poverty. Wealth breeds pride, and poverty provokes dishonesty.

V. 10. A curse was thought to create a negative force in another's life.

Vv. 11-14. This series describes four types of sinners. The compiling of lists was common among wisdom writers who observed life and catalogued their findings.

Vv. 15-17. These verses perhaps speak by way of metaphor to human desire that cannot be satisfied but must be disciplined.

Vv. 18-19. This numerical saying compares the mysteries of nature with the mystery of love.

V. 20. Sin so corrupts the conscience that the sinner denies any guilt.

Vv. 21-23. This series describes events that upset society's norm. The “unloved woman” is better translated “the divorced woman” or “woman who cannot keep her marriage vows.” The Hebrew word indicates one who does not remain faithful to a relationship.

Vv. 24-28. This series recommends a study of small creatures in order to learn disciplined habits.

Vv. 29-31. Each display of majesty has its own glory.

Vv. 32-33. The fool is warned that retribution is certain. That which is planned for others will recoil onto the perpetrator.