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Proverbs 30-31 (New American Standard Bible)

Proverbs 30-31

The Words of Agur

30 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the [a]oracle.

The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:

Surely I am more stupid than any man,
And I do not have the understanding of a man.
Neither have I learned wisdom,
Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in [b]His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son’s name?
Surely you know!

Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:
Keep deception and [c]lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God.

10 Do not slander a slave to his master,
Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.

11 There is a [d]kind of man who curses his father
And does not bless his mother.
12 There is a [e]kind who is pure in his own eyes,
Yet is not washed from his filthiness.
13 There is a [f]kind—oh how lofty are his eyes!
And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.
14 There is a [g]kind of man whose teeth are like swords
And his jaw teeth like knives,
To devour the afflicted from the earth
And the needy from among men.

15 The leech has two daughters,
“Give,” “Give.”
There are three things that will not be satisfied,
Four that will not say, “Enough”:
16 [h]Sheol, and the barren womb,
Earth that is never satisfied with water,
And fire that never says, “Enough.”
17 The eye that mocks a father
And [i]scorns a mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young eagles will eat it.

18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
19 The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.
20 This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
And says, “I have done no wrong.”

21 Under three things the earth quakes,
And under four, it cannot bear up:
22 Under a slave when he becomes king,
And a fool when he is satisfied with food,
23 Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
And a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.

24 Four things are small on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:
25 The ants are not a strong people,
But they prepare their food in the summer;
26 The [j]shephanim are not mighty people,
Yet they make their houses in the rocks;
27 The locusts have no king,
Yet all of them go out in ranks;
28 The lizard you may grasp with the hands,
Yet it is in kings’ palaces.

29 There are three things which are stately in their march,
Even four which are stately when they walk:
30 The lion which is mighty among beasts
And does not [k]retreat before any,
31 The [l]strutting rooster, the male goat also,
And a king when his army is with him.

32 If you have been foolish in exalting yourself
Or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth.
33 For the [m]churning of milk produces butter,
And pressing the nose brings forth blood;
So the [n]churning of anger produces strife.

The Words of Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel, the [o]oracle which his mother taught him:

What, O my son?
And what, O son of my womb?
And what, O son of my vows?
Do not give your strength to women,
Or your ways to that which destroys kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire strong drink,
For they will drink and forget what is decreed,
And pervert the [p]rights of all the [q]afflicted.
Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to him [r]whose life is bitter.
Let him drink and forget his poverty
And remember his trouble no more.
Open your mouth for the mute,
For the [s]rights of all the [t]unfortunate.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And [u]defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.

Description of a Worthy Woman

10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her [v]hands [w]in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And [x]portions to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From [y]her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds [z]herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her [aa]hands grasp the spindle.
20 She [ab]extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And [ac]supplies belts to the [ad]tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the [ae]future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the [af]teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who [ag]fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the [ah]product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.


  1. Proverbs 30:1 Or burden
  2. Proverbs 30:4 Lit the
  3. Proverbs 30:8 Lit words of falsehood
  4. Proverbs 30:11 Or generation
  5. Proverbs 30:12 Or generation
  6. Proverbs 30:13 Or generation
  7. Proverbs 30:14 Or generation
  8. Proverbs 30:16 I.e. The nether world
  9. Proverbs 30:17 Lit despises to obey
  10. Proverbs 30:26 Small, shy, furry animals (Hyrax syriacus) found in the peninsula of the Sinai, northern Israel, and the region round the Dead Sea; KJV coney, orig NASB badgers
  11. Proverbs 30:30 Lit turn back
  12. Proverbs 30:31 Lit girt in the loins
  13. Proverbs 30:33 Lit pressing
  14. Proverbs 30:33 Lit pressing
  15. Proverbs 31:1 Or burden
  16. Proverbs 31:5 Lit judgment
  17. Proverbs 31:5 Lit sons of affliction
  18. Proverbs 31:6 Lit bitter of soul
  19. Proverbs 31:8 Lit judgment
  20. Proverbs 31:8 Lit sons of passing away
  21. Proverbs 31:9 Lit judge the afflicted
  22. Proverbs 31:13 Lit palms
  23. Proverbs 31:13 Or willingly
  24. Proverbs 31:15 Or prescribed tasks
  25. Proverbs 31:16 Lit the fruit of her palms
  26. Proverbs 31:17 Lit her loins
  27. Proverbs 31:19 Lit palms
  28. Proverbs 31:20 Lit spreads out her palm
  29. Proverbs 31:24 Lit gives
  30. Proverbs 31:24 Lit Canaanite
  31. Proverbs 31:25 Lit latter days
  32. Proverbs 31:26 Or law
  33. Proverbs 31:30 Or reverences
  34. Proverbs 31:31 Lit fruit
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New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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