This is what this valiant man declared to the God with me, to the God with me, who then prevailed:[b] 2 Surely I am beyond the senselessness of any man; I do not perceive things[c] the way human beings do. 3 I never acquired wisdom, but I know what the Holy One knows.
4 Who has ascended to heaven, and then descended? Who has collected the wind in his hands? Who has wrapped up waters in a garment? Who has established all the farthest points of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!
5 Everything God says is pure; he is a shield for those who take refuge in him. 6 Don’t add to his words, or he will rebuke you, and you will be shown to be a liar.
On Contentment in Life
7 God,[d] I have asked you for two things— don’t refuse me before I die— 8 Keep deception and lies far away from me, and give me neither poverty nor wealth. Feed me with food that I need for today,[e] 9 so that I don’t become overfed and deny you by saying, “Who is the Lord?” or so that I don’t become poor and steal, and then misuse the name of my God.
On Different Kinds of People
10 Don’t lie about a servant to his master, or that servant[f] will curse you and you will pay for it.
11 Some people[g] curse their fathers and won’t bless their mothers. 12 Some people[h] view themselves as pure, but haven’t been cleansed from their own filth. 13 Some people[i]—what an arrogant look they have!— raise their eyebrows haughtily. 14 Some people[j] have swords for teeth and knives for fangs to devour the afflicted from the earth and the needy from among mankind.
15 The leech has two daughters: “Give” and “Give”. Three things will never be satisfied; four will never say “Enough”— 16 The afterlife,[k] the barren womb, earth that still demands water, and fire—they never say, “Enough”.
17 The eye that mocks a father and looks with a disobedient attitude at[l] a mother— the valley ravens will pluck it out; and vultures will eat it.
What Causes Wonder
18 Three things cause wonder for me; four are beyond my understanding: 19 The way an eagle flies in the sky, the way of a serpent 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 what an immoral woman is like: she eats, wipes her mouth, then says “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
21 Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot remain steady: 22 Under a slave when he becomes a king, a fool when he is overfed, 23 an unloved woman when she finds a husband, and a servant girl who inherits from her mistress.
24 Four things on earth are small, but they are very, very wise: 25 Ants aren’t a strong species,[m] yet they prepare their food in the summer. 26 The rock badgers aren’t a strong species[n] either, yet they build their dens in the rocks. 27 Locusts have no king, but they all swarm in ranks. 28 Spiders can be caught by the hand, yet they’re found in kings’ palaces.
29 Three things are stately in procession, four which are stately in their gait: 30 The lion, mighty among the beasts, retreats before nothing. 31 The strutting rooster, as well as the goat, and a king with his army.
32 If you’ve foolishly exalted yourself or if you’ve plotted evil, put your hand over your mouth. 33 Just as whipping milk produces butter, and twisting the nose causes bleeding, so also stirring up anger produces contention.
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