Proverbs 30

The Sayings of Agur

1 These are the sayings and the message
     of Agur son of Jakeh.
    Someone cries out to God,
   “I am completely worn out!
      How can I last?
2 I am far too stupid
      to be considered human.
3 I never was wise,
   and I don’t understand
      what God is like.”

4 Has anyone gone up to heaven
      and come back down?
   Has anyone grabbed hold
      of the wind?
   Has anyone wrapped up the sea
   or marked out boundaries
      for the earth?
   If you know of any
      who have done such things,
   then tell me their names
      and their children’s names.

5 Everything God says is true—
   and it’s a shield for all
      who come to him for safety.
6 Don’t change what God has said!
   He will correct you and show
      that you are a liar.

7 There are two things, Lord,
   I want you to do for me
      before I die:
8 Make me absolutely honest
   and don’t let me be too poor
      or too rich.
   Give me just what I need.
9 If I have too much to eat,
      I might forget about you;
   if I don’t have enough,
   I might steal
      and disgrace your name.

10 Don’t tell a slave owner
     something bad about one
         of the slaves.
     That slave will curse you,
         and you will be in trouble.

11 Some people curse their father
         and even their mother;
12 others think they are perfect,
         but they are stained by sin.
13 Some people are stuck-up
         and act like snobs;
14 others are so greedy
     that they gobble down
         the poor and homeless.

15 Greed has twins,
         each named “Give me!”
     There are three or four things
         that are never satisfied:
16 The world of the dead
         and a childless wife,
     the thirsty earth
         and a flaming fire.

17 Don’t make fun of your father
         or disobey your mother—
     crows will peck out your eyes,
     and buzzards will eat
         the rest of you.

18 There are three or four things
         I cannot understand:
19 How eagles fly so high
         or snakes crawl on rocks,
     how ships sail the ocean
         or people fall in love.

20 An unfaithful wife says,
     “Sleeping with another man
         is as natural as eating.”

21 There are three or four things
     that make the earth tremble
         and are unbearable:
22 A slave who becomes king,
         a fool who eats too much,
23 a hateful woman
         who finds a husband,
     and a slave who takes the place
         of the woman who owns her.

24 On this earth four things
         are small but very wise:
25 Ants, who seem to be feeble,
     but store up food
         all summer long;
26 badgers, who seem to be weak,
         but live among the rocks;
27 locusts, who have no king,
         but march like an army;
28 lizards, which can be caught
     in your hand,
         but sneak into palaces.

29 Three or four creatures
         really strut around:
30 Those fearless lions
         who rule the jungle,
31 those proud roosters,
         those mountain goats,
     and those rulers
         who have no enemies.

32 If you are foolishly bragging
     or planning something evil,
         then stop it now!
33 If you churn milk
         you get butter;
     if you pound on your nose,
         you get blood—
     and if you stay angry,
         you get in trouble.

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary