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Proverbs 30The Message (MSG)

The Words of Agur Ben Yakeh

God? Who Needs Him?

30 1-2 The skeptic swore, “There is no God!
    No God!—I can do anything I want!
I’m more animal than human;
    so-called human intelligence escapes me.

3-4 “I flunked ‘wisdom.’
    I see no evidence of a holy God.
Has anyone ever seen Anyone
    climb into Heaven and take charge?
    grab the winds and control them?
    gather the rains in his bucket?
    stake out the ends of the earth?
Just tell me his name, tell me the names of his sons.
    Come on now—tell me!”

5-6 The believer replied, “Every promise of God proves true;
    he protects everyone who runs to him for help.
So don’t second-guess him;
    he might take you to task and show up your lies.”

7-9 And then he prayed, “God, I’m asking for two things
    before I die; don’t refuse me—
Banish lies from my lips
    and liars from my presence.
Give me enough food to live on,
    neither too much nor too little.
If I’m too full, I might get independent,
    saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’
If I’m poor, I might steal
    and dishonor the name of my God.”

10 Don’t blow the whistle on your fellow workers
    behind their backs;
They’ll accuse you of being underhanded,
    and then you’ll be the guilty one!

11 Don’t curse your father
    or fail to bless your mother.

12 Don’t imagine yourself to be quite presentable
    when you haven’t had a bath in weeks.

13 Don’t be stuck-up
    and think you’re better than everyone else.

14 Don’t be greedy,
    merciless and cruel as wolves,
Tearing into the poor and feasting on them,
    shredding the needy to pieces only to discard them.

15-16 A leech has twin daughters
    named “Gimme” and “Gimme more.”

Four Insatiables

Three things are never satisfied,
    no, there are four that never say, “That’s enough, thank you!”—

hell,
a barren womb,
a parched land,
a forest fire.

17 An eye that disdains a father
    and despises a mother—
that eye will be plucked out by wild vultures
    and consumed by young eagles.

Four Mysteries

18-19 Three things amaze me,
    no, four things I’ll never understand—

how an eagle flies so high in the sky,
how a snake glides over a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
why adolescents act the way they do.

20 Here’s how a prostitute operates:
    she has sex with her client,
Takes a bath,
    then asks, “Who’s next?”

Four Intolerables

21-23 Three things are too much for even the earth to bear,
    yes, four things shake its foundations—

when the janitor becomes the boss,
when a fool gets rich,
when a whore is voted “woman of the year,”
when a “girlfriend” replaces a faithful wife.

Four Small Wonders

24-28 There are four small creatures,
    wisest of the wise they are—

ants—frail as they are,
    get plenty of food in for the winter;
marmots—vulnerable as they are,
    manage to arrange for rock-solid homes;
locusts—leaderless insects,
    yet they strip the field like an army regiment;
lizards—easy enough to catch,
    but they sneak past vigilant palace guards.

Four Dignitaries

29-31 There are three solemn dignitaries,
    four that are impressive in their bearing—

a lion, king of the beasts, deferring to none;
a rooster, proud and strutting;
a billy goat;
a head of state in stately procession.

32-33 If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself
    by offending people and making rude gestures,
Don’t be surprised if someone bloodies your nose.
    Churned milk turns into butter;
    riled emotions turn into fist fights.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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