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].”
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.