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Proverbs 30 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The words of Agur, son of Jakeh. Agur’s prophetic revelation.

Agur Speaks about God

[To God]

This man’s declaration:
    “I’m weary, O God.
    I’m weary and worn out, O God.
    I’m more like a dumb animal than a human being.
    I don’t even have human understanding.
    I haven’t learned wisdom.
    I don’t have knowledge of the Holy One.[a]

[To the audience]

“Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in the palm of his hand?
Who has wrapped water in a garment?
Who has set up the earth from one end to the other?
What is his name or the name of his son?
    Certainly, you must know!

“All of God’s words has proven to be true.
    He is a shield to those who come to him for protection.
Do not add to his words,
    or he will reprimand you, and you will be found to be a liar.

A Prayer

[To God]

“I’ve asked you for two things.
Don’t keep them from me before I die:
    Keep vanity and lies far away from me.
    Don’t give me either poverty or riches.
        Feed me only the food I need,
            or I may feel satisfied and deny you
                and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
            or I may become poor and steal
                and give the name of my God a bad reputation.

Against Slander

[To the audience]

10 “Do not slander a slave to his master.
    The slave will curse you,
        and you will be found guilty.”

Four Kinds of People

11 A certain kind of person curses his father
    and does not bless his mother.
12 A certain kind of person thinks he is pure
    but is not washed from his own feces.[b]
13 A certain kind of person looks around arrogantly
    and is conceited.
14 A certain kind of person,
    whose teeth are like swords
        and whose jaws are like knives,
            devours oppressed people from the earth
                and people from among humanity.

Human Bloodsuckers

15 The bloodsucking leech has two daughters—“Give!” and “Give!”

Four Things That Are Never Satisfied

Three things are never satisfied.
Four never say, “Enough!”:
16     the grave,
    a barren womb,
    a land that never gets enough water,
    a fire that does not say, “Enough!”

Disrespectful Children—Their Punishment

17 The eye that makes fun of a father and hates to obey a mother
    will be plucked out by ravens in the valley and eaten by young vultures.

Four Things of Intrigue

18 Three things are too amazing to me,
even four that I cannot understand:
19     an eagle making its way through the sky,
    a snake making its way over a rock,
    a ship making its way through high seas,
    a man making his way with a virgin.

About the Woman Who Commits Adultery

20 This is the way of a woman who commits adultery:
    She eats, wipes her mouth,
        and says, “I haven’t done anything wrong!”

Four Things That Are Intolerable

21 Three things cause the earth to tremble,
even four it cannot bear up under:
22     a slave when he becomes king,
    a godless fool when he is filled with food,
23     a woman who is unloved when she gets married,
    a maid when she replaces her mistress.

Four Things That Are Small—Yet Smart and Strong

24 Four things on earth are small,
yet they are very wise:
25     Ants are not a strong species,
        yet they store their food in summer.
26     Rock badgers are not a mighty species,
        yet they make their home in the rocks.
27     Locusts have no king,
        yet all of them divide into swarms by instinct.
28     A lizard you can hold in your hands,
        yet it can even be found in royal palaces.

Four Things That Move with Dignity

29 There are three things that walk with dignity,
even four that march with dignity:
30     a lion, mightiest among animals, which turns away from nothing,
31     a strutting rooster,[c]
    a male goat,
    a king at the head of his army.[d]

Keep Calm and Quiet

32 If you are such a godless fool as to honor yourself,
    or if you scheme,
        you had better put your hand over your mouth.
33             As churning milk produces butter
                and punching a nose produces blood,
                    so stirring up anger[e] produces a fight.


  1. Proverbs 30:3 Or “holy ones.”
  2. Proverbs 30:12 Blunt Hebrew term but not considered vulgar.
  3. Proverbs 30:31 Hebrew meaning of this line uncertain.
  4. Proverbs 30:31 Hebrew meaning of “at the head of his army” uncertain.
  5. Proverbs 30:33 In Hebrew there is a play on words in verse 33 where the same verb is used to express all three actions.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

Proverbs 30 New International Version (NIV)

Sayings of Agur

30 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance.

This man’s utterance to Ithiel:

“I am weary, God,
    but I can prevail.[a]
Surely I am only a brute, not a man;
    I do not have human understanding.
I have not learned wisdom,
    nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
    Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
    Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
    Surely you know!

“Every word of God is flawless;
    he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
    or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

“Two things I ask of you, Lord;
    do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
    give me neither poverty nor riches,
    but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
    and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
    and so dishonor the name of my God.

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;
12 those who are pure in their own eyes
    and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
13 those whose eyes are ever so haughty,
    whose glances are so disdainful;
14 those whose teeth are swords
    and whose jaws are set with knives
to devour the poor from the earth
    and the needy from among mankind.

15 “The leech has two daughters.
    ‘Give! Give!’ they cry.

“There are three things that are never satisfied,
    four that never say, ‘Enough!’:
16 the grave, the barren womb,
    land, which is never satisfied with water,
    and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’

17 “The eye that mocks a father,
    that scorns an aged mother,
will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley,
    will be eaten by the vultures.

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.’

21 “Under three things the earth trembles,
    under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king,
    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;
26 hyraxes are creatures of little power,
    yet they make their home in the crags;
27 locusts 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!
33 For as churning cream produces butter,
    and as twisting the nose produces blood,
    so stirring up anger produces strife.”


  1. Proverbs 30:1 With a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text utterance to Ithiel, / to Ithiel and Ukal:
  2. Proverbs 30:31 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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