30 These are the words of Agur son of Jakeh [C an otherwise unknown wise man].
·This is his message to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal [or The utterance of the man, “I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and I am exhausted; C unclear whether these are proper names or verbs]: 2 “I am ·the most stupid person there is [a dullard/brute more than a human; Ps. 73:22], and I have no understanding. 3 I have not learned to be wise, and I don’t know much about ·God, the Holy One [or the holy ones; C a reference to angels]. 4 Who has gone up to heaven and come back down [John 3:12–13]? Who can hold the wind ·in his hand [or by the handful; Gen. 8:1; Ex. 10:13; 15:10; Num. 11:31; Amos 4:13]? Who can gather up the waters in his coat [Job 26:8]? Who has set in place the ends of the earth [8:27–29]? What is his name or his son’s name? Tell me, if you know!
5 “Every word of God ·is true [passes the test; L is refined; 2 Sam. 22:31; Ps. 18:30]. ·He guards those [L They are a shield to those] who come to him for ·safety [refuge]. 6 Do not add to his words [Deut. 4:2; 12:32], or he will correct you and prove you are a liar.
7 “I ask two things from you, Lord. Don’t ·refuse [withhold them from] me before I die. 8 Keep me from lying and ·being dishonest [fraud]. And don’t make me either rich or poor; just give me enough food for each day [Matt. 6:11; 1 Tim. 6:8]. 9 If I ·have too much [am sated/satisfied], I might ·reject [deny] you and say, ‘·I don’t know the Lord[L Who is the Lord?]’ If I am poor, I might steal and ·disgrace [profane] the name of my God.
10 “Do not ·say bad things about [slander] servants to their masters, or they will curse you, and you will suffer for it [Eccl. 7:21–22].
11 “Some people curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers [Ex. 20:12; 21:17]. 12 Some people think they are pure, but they ·are not really free from evil [L have not cleaned off their own excrement; Deut. 23:12–14]. 13 Some people have such ·a proud look [haughty eyes]! They ·look down on others [L raise their eyebrows; Ps. 131]. 14 Some people have teeth like swords; their jaws ·seem full of knives [are a butcher’s knife; C their words hurt people]. They want to ·remove [L consume] the poor from the earth and the needy from the ·land [or humanity].
15 “·Greed [L The leech] has two daughters named ‘Give’ and ‘Give.’ There are three things that are never satisfied, really four that never say, ‘I’ve had enough!’: 16 the ·cemetery [grave; Sheol], the ·childless mother [L barren womb], the land that never gets enough rain, and fire that never says, ‘I’ve had enough!’
17 “·If you make fun of your [L An eye that ridicules one’s] father and ·refuse to obey your [L despises the teaching of one’s] mother, the ·birds [L ravens] of the ·valley [wadi] will peck out your eyes, and the ·vultures [or young eagles] will eat them.
18 “There are three things that are too ·hard [wonderful] for me, really four I don’t understand: 19 the way an eagle flies in the sky, the way a snake slides over a rock, the way a ship sails on the sea, and the way a man and a woman ·fall in [or make] love.
20 “This is the way of a woman who takes part in adultery: She acts as if she had eaten and washed her face; she says, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong.’
21 “There are three things that make the earth tremble, really four it cannot ·stand [bear]: 22 a servant who becomes a king [Eccl. 10:5–7], a foolish person who has plenty to eat, 23 a ·hated [unloved] woman who gets married, and a maid who ·replaces [displaces; succeeds] her mistress [Gen. 16:4].
24 “There are four things on earth that are small, but they are very wise: 25 Ants are not very strong, but they ·store up [have] food in the summer. 26 ·Rock badgers [or Coneys] are not very powerful, but they can live among the ·rocks [crags]. 27 Locusts have no king, but they ·all go forward in formation [advance together in ranks]. 28 Lizards can be caught in the hand, but they are found even in kings’ palaces.
29 “There are three things that ·strut proudly [L are excellent in gait], really four that ·walk as if they were important [L are excellent as they walk]: 30 a lion, ·the proudest animal [or a warrior among beasts], which ·is strong and runs from nothing [backs down from nothing], 31 a rooster, a male goat, and a king when his army is around him.
32 “If you have been foolish and proud, or if you have planned evil, ·shut [L put your hand to] your mouth [Job 40:2]. 33 Just as ·stirring [L pressing] milk makes ·butter [curds], and ·twisting [L pressing] noses makes ·them bleed [blood], so ·stirring up [L pressing] anger ·causes trouble [leads to accusations].”
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