The Words of Agur

30 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the pronouncement.

The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:

I am certainly more (A)stupid than any man,
And I do not have the understanding of a man;
Nor have I learned wisdom,
Nor do I have the (B)knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has (C)ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the (D)wind in His fists?
Who has (E)wrapped the waters in [a]His garment?
Who has (F)established all the ends of the earth?
What is His (G)name or His [b]Son’s name?
Surely you know!

Every (H)word of God is [c]pure;
He is a (I)shield to those who take refuge in Him.
(J)Do not add to His words
Or He will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.

Two things I have asked of You;
Do not refuse me before I die:
Keep deception and [d]lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the (K)food that is my portion,
So that I will not be (L)full and deny (M)You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
And that I will not become (N)impoverished and steal,
And (O)profane the name of my God.

10 Do not slander a slave to his master,
Or he will (P)curse you and you will be found guilty.

11 There is a [e]kind of person who (Q)curses his father
And does not bless his mother.
12 There is a [f]kind who is (R)pure in his own eyes,
Yet is not washed from his filthiness.
13 There is a [g]kind—oh how (S)lofty are his eyes!
And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.
14 There is a [h]kind of person whose (T)teeth are like swords
And his (U)jaw teeth like knives,
To (V)devour the poor from the earth
And the needy from among mankind.

15 The leech has two daughters:
“Give” and “Give.”
There are three things that will not be satisfied,
Four that will not say, “Enough”:
16 [i](W)Sheol, the (X)infertile womb,
Earth that is never satisfied with water,
And fire that never says, “Enough.”
17 The eye that (Y)mocks a father
And [j](Z)scorns a mother,
The (AA)ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young (AB)eagles will eat it.

18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
19 The way of the (AC)eagle in the sky,
The way of a snake on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a [k]virgin.
20 This is the way of an (AD)adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
And says, “I have done no wrong.”

21 Under three things the earth quakes,
And under four, it cannot endure:
22 Under a (AE)slave when he becomes king,
And a fool when he is satisfied with food,
23 Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
And a female servant when she dispossesses her mistress.

24 Four things are small on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:
25 The (AF)ants are not a strong people,
But they prepare their food in the summer;
26 The (AG)rock hyraxes are not a mighty people,
Yet they make their houses in the rocks;
27 The locusts have no king,
Yet all of them go out in (AH)ranks;
28 The lizard you may grasp with the hands,
Yet it is in kings’ palaces.

29 There are three things which are stately in their march,
Even four which are stately when they walk:
30 The lion, which is (AI)mighty among animals
And does not [l](AJ)retreat from anything,
31 The [m]strutting rooster or the male goat,
And a king when his army is with him.

32 If you have been foolish in exalting yourself,
Or if you have plotted evil, (AK)put your hand on your mouth.
33 For the [n]churning of milk produces butter,
And pressing the nose produces blood;
So the [o]churning of (AL)anger produces strife.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 30:4 Lit the
  2. Proverbs 30:4 Or son’s
  3. Proverbs 30:5 Lit refined
  4. Proverbs 30:8 Lit words of falsehood
  5. Proverbs 30:11 Or generation
  6. Proverbs 30:12 Or generation
  7. Proverbs 30:13 Or generation
  8. Proverbs 30:14 Or generation
  9. Proverbs 30:16 I.e., The netherworld
  10. Proverbs 30:17 Lit despises to obey
  11. Proverbs 30:19 Lit young unmarried woman
  12. Proverbs 30:30 Lit turn back
  13. Proverbs 30:31 Lit girt in the loins
  14. Proverbs 30:33 Lit pressing
  15. Proverbs 30:33 Lit pressing

The Words of Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel, the pronouncement which his mother taught him:

What, my son?
And what, (A)son of my womb?
And what, son of my (B)vows?
(C)Do not give your strength to women,
Or your ways to that which (D)destroys kings.
It is not for (E)kings, Lemuel,
It is not for kings to (F)drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire intoxicating drink,
Otherwise they will drink and forget what is decreed,
And (G)pervert the [a]rights of all the [b]needy.
Give intoxicating drink to one who is (H)perishing,
And wine to one [c](I)whose life is bitter.
Let him drink and forget his poverty,
And remember his trouble no more.
(J)Open your mouth for the people who cannot speak,
For the [d]rights of all the [e]unfortunate.
Open your mouth, (K)judge righteously,
And [f]defend the (L)rights of the poor and needy.

Description of a Worthy Woman

10 An (M)excellent wife, who can find her?
For her worth is far (N)above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and linen,
And works with her [g]hands [h]in delight.
14 She is like (O)merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15 And she (P)rises while it is still night
And (Q)gives food to her household,
And [i]portions to her attendants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From [j]her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She (R)surrounds her waist with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her profit is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the [k]distaff,
And her [l]hands grasp the spindle.
20 She [m](S)extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are (T)clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes (U)coverings for herself;
Her clothing is (V)fine linen and (W)purple.
23 Her husband is known (X)in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes (Y)linen garments and sells them,
And [n]supplies belts to the [o]tradesmen.
25 Strength and (Z)dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the [p]future.
26 She (AA)opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the [q]teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the activities of her household,
And does not eat the (AB)bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who [r](AC)fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the [s]product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 31:5 Lit judgment
  2. Proverbs 31:5 Lit sons of affliction
  3. Proverbs 31:6 Lit bitter of soul
  4. Proverbs 31:8 Lit judgment
  5. Proverbs 31:8 Lit sons of passing away
  6. Proverbs 31:9 Lit judge the afflicted
  7. Proverbs 31:13 Lit palms
  8. Proverbs 31:13 Or willingly
  9. Proverbs 31:15 Or prescribed tasks
  10. Proverbs 31:16 Lit the fruit of her palms
  11. Proverbs 31:19 I.e., the staff that holds the textile fibers for spinning
  12. Proverbs 31:19 Lit palms
  13. Proverbs 31:20 Lit spreads out her palm
  14. Proverbs 31:24 Lit gives
  15. Proverbs 31:24 Lit Canaanite
  16. Proverbs 31:25 Lit latter days
  17. Proverbs 31:26 Or law
  18. Proverbs 31:30 Or reveres
  19. Proverbs 31:31 Lit fruit