New Living Translation
The Sayings of Agur
30 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message.[a]
I am weary, O God;
I am weary and worn out, O God.[b]
2 I am too stupid to be human,
and I lack common sense.
3 I have not mastered human wisdom,
nor do I know the Holy One.
4 Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?
Who holds the wind in his fists?
Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak?
Who has created the whole wide world?
What is his name—and his son’s name?
Tell me if you know!
5 Every word of God proves true.
He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
6 Do not add to his words,
or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
7 O God, I beg two favors from you;
let me have them before I die.
8 First, help me never to tell a lie.
Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!
Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
9 For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
10 Never slander a worker to the employer,
or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.
11 Some people curse their father
and do not thank their mother.
12 They are pure in their own eyes,
but they are filthy and unwashed.
13 They look proudly around,
casting disdainful glances.
14 They have teeth like swords
and fangs like knives.
They devour the poor from the earth
and the needy from among humanity.
15 The leech has two suckers
that cry out, “More, more!”[c]
There are three things that are never satisfied—
no, four that never say, “Enough!”:
16 the grave,[d]
the barren womb,
the thirsty desert,
the blazing fire.
17 The eye that mocks a father
and despises a mother’s instructions
will be plucked out by ravens of the valley
and eaten by vultures.
18 There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
19 how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.
20 An adulterous woman consumes a man,
then wipes her mouth and says, “What’s wrong with that?”
21 There are three things that make the earth tremble—
no, four it cannot endure:
22 a slave who becomes a king,
an overbearing fool who prospers,
23 a bitter woman who finally gets a husband,
a servant girl who supplants her mistress.
24 There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:
25 Ants—they aren’t strong,
but they store up food all summer.
26 Hyraxes[e]—they aren’t powerful,
but they make their homes among the rocks.
27 Locusts—they have no king,
but they march in formation.
28 Lizards—they are easy to catch,
but they are found even in kings’ palaces.
29 There are three things that walk with stately stride—
no, four that strut about:
30 the lion, king of animals, who won’t turn aside for anything,
31 the strutting rooster,
the male goat,
a king as he leads his army.
32 If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil,
cover your mouth in shame.
33 As the beating of cream yields butter
and striking the nose causes bleeding,
so stirring up anger causes quarrels.
New International Version
Sayings of Agur
30 The sayings(A) of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance.
This man’s utterance to Ithiel:
“I am weary, God,
but I can prevail.[a]
2 Surely I am only a brute, not a man;
I do not have human understanding.
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One.(B)
4 Who has gone up(C) to heaven and come down?
Whose hands(D) have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters(E) in a cloak?(F)
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name,(G) and what is the name of his son?
Surely you know!
7 “Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.(K)
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown(L) you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’(M)
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.(N)
10 “Do not slander a servant to their master,
or they will curse you, and you will pay for it.
11 “There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers;(O)
12 those who are pure in their own eyes(P)
and yet are not cleansed of their filth;(Q)
13 those whose eyes are ever so haughty,(R)
whose glances are so disdainful;
14 those whose teeth(S) are swords
and whose jaws are set with knives(T)
to devour(U) the poor(V) from the earth
and the needy from among mankind.(W)
15 “The leech has two daughters.
‘Give! Give!’ they cry.
18 “There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a young woman.
20 “This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth
and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’(AB)
21 “Under three things the earth trembles,
under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king,(AC)
a godless fool who gets plenty to eat,
23 a contemptible woman who gets married,
and a servant who displaces her mistress.
24 “Four things on earth are small,
yet they are extremely wise:
25 Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer;(AD)
26 hyraxes(AE) are creatures of little power,
yet they make their home in the crags;
27 locusts(AF) have no king,
yet they advance together in ranks;
28 a lizard can be caught with the hand,
yet it is found in kings’ palaces.
29 “There are three things that are stately in their stride,
four that move with stately bearing:
30 a lion, mighty among beasts,
who retreats before nothing;
31 a strutting rooster, a he-goat,
and a king secure against revolt.[b]
32 “If you play the fool and exalt yourself,
or if you plan evil,
clap your hand over your mouth!(AG)
33 For as churning cream produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife.”