30
These are the words of Agur, son of Jakeh. An oracle. This is what the man says, God, I'm really tired, I'm worn out.*
I'm so stupid I'm not really a man; I can't even think like a human being.
I have not learned wisdom; I have no knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has gone up to heaven, and come down? Who holds the winds in the palm of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has set the earth's boundaries? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Are you sure you don't know?
Every word God says has been proved true. He defends everyone who comes to him for protection.
Don't add anything to his words, or he will criticize you and you'll be shown to be a liar.
God, I want to request two things from you. Please don't refuse to let me have them before I come to die.
Keep me from being false, help me not to tell lies. Don't make me poor or rich; just provide me with the food I need.
Otherwise if I have plenty of money, I may give up on you, saying, “Who is the Lord?” while if I'm poor I may steal and bring the name of my God into disrepute.
10 Don't slander a servant to his master, or he will curse you and you'll suffer for it.
11 There are some who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are some who see themselves as pure but they're still filthythey have not been washed.
13 There are some who think themselves so high and mighty, and who look down on others.
14 There are some who have teeth like swords, incisors like knives, ready to devour the poor from the earth, the needy from society.
15 The leech has two daughters who cry out, “Give me! Give me!”
There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, “Enough!”:
16 The grave, the womb that doesn't become pregnant, the earth thirsty for water, and the fire that never says, “Enough!”
17 People who ridicule their fathers and despise obedience to the mother will have their eyes pecked out by wild ravens and eaten by young vultures.
18 These three things are amazingly hard for me, four things I just can't understand:
19 The way an eagle soars in the sky, the way a snake slides over a rock, the way a ship sails across the sea, the way a man and a woman fall in love.
20 This is the way of a woman who commits adultery: she eats,§ she wipes her mouth, and then says, “I haven't done anything wrong!”
21 Three things make the earth tremble, there are four things it can't support:
22 a slave becoming a king, a stupid person eating like a pig,
23 an unbearable woman getting married, and a maidservant taking her mistress's place.
24 There are four things on earth that are small, but very wise:
25 Ants—they're not strong, but they work hard all summer storing up food.
26 Hyraxes*they don't have much power, but they make their homes in the rock.
27 Locusts—they don't have a king, but they all march in line abreast.
28 Lizards—you can catch them in your hands, but they live in the king's palace.
29 There are three things that are glorious to watch as they walk, four that look dignified as they move:
30 The lion, supreme among wild animals, who isn't frightened of anything.
31 The strutting starling, the male goat, and a king with his army.
32 If you have been foolishly boasting about yourself, or if you've been planning to do something wrong, stop and put your hand over your mouth.
33 Just as churning milk produces butter, and twisting someone's nose makes it bleed, so stirring up anger causes arguments.
* 30:1 This verse is variously translated, mainly depending on whether it refers to named people or what the words actually mean. Since both the Septuagint and the Vulgate do not assume the words to be names, this approach is followed here. 30:4 The point of the questions is to show that no one but the Creator could do all these things. 30:9 “I have plenty of money”: literally, “I'm full.” § 30:20 This is often assumed to refer to the act of adultery. * 30:26 Also known as rock badgers or coneys. 30:31 “Starling”: as per modern Hebrew and Aramaic, some ancient versions have “rooster.”