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30 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 El.
    I’m weary and worn out, O El.
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!

“Every word of Eloah has proven to be true.
    He is a Magen 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 Yahweh?’
        or I may become poor and steal
            and give the name of my Elohim 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.