30 The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh; an oracle: 1
This 2 man says 3 to Ithiel, to Ithiel and to Ukal: 4
2 Surely 5 I am more brutish 6 than any other human being, 7
and I do not have human understanding; 8
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor do I have knowledge 9 of the Holy One. 10
4 Who has ascended into heaven, and then descended? 11
Who has gathered up the winds in his fists? 12
Who has bound up the waters in his cloak? 13
Who has established all the ends of the earth? 14
What is his name, and what is his son’s name? 15 – if you know!
5 Every word of God is purified; 16
he is like 17 a shield for those who take refuge in him. 18
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he reprove you, and prove you to be a liar. 19
7 Two things 20 I ask from you; 21
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Remove falsehood and lies 22 far from me;
do not give me poverty or riches,
feed me with my allotted portion 23 of bread, 24
9 lest I become satisfied and act deceptively 25
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I become poor and steal
and demean 26 the name of my God.
10 Do not slander 27 a servant to his master,
lest he curse you, and you are found guilty. 28
11 There is a generation 29 who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers. 30
12 There is a generation who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not washed 31 from their filthiness. 32
13 There is a generation whose eyes are so lofty, 33
and whose eyelids are lifted up disdainfully. 34
14 There is a generation whose teeth are like 35 swords 36
and whose molars 37 are like knives
to devour 38 the poor from the earth
and the needy from among the human race.
15 The leech 39 has two daughters: 40
“Give! Give!” 41
There are three things that are never satisfied,
four 42 that never say, “Enough” 43 –
16 the grave, 44 the barren womb, 45
land that is not satisfied with water,
and fire that never says, “Enough!” 46
17 The eye 47 that mocks at a father
and despises obeying 48 a mother –
the ravens of the valley will peck it out
and the young vultures will eat it. 49
18 There are three things that are too wonderful for me, 50
four that I do not understand:
19 the way 51 of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship in the sea,
and the way of a man with a woman. 52
20 This is the way 53 of an adulterous 54 woman:
she eats and wipes her mouth 55
and says, “I have not done wrong.” 56
21 Under three things the earth trembles, 57
and under four things it cannot bear up:
22 under a servant 58 who becomes king,
under a fool who is stuffed with food, 59
23 under an unloved 60 woman who is married,
and under a female servant who dispossesses 61 her mistress.
24 There are four things on earth that are small, 62
but they are exceedingly wise: 63
25 ants are creatures with little strength,
but they prepare 64 their food in the summer;
26 rock badgers 65 are creatures with little power,
but they make their homes in the crags;
27 locusts have no king,
but they all go forward by ranks; 66
28 a lizard 67 you can catch with the hand,
but it gets into the palaces of the king. 68
29 There are three things that are magnificent 69 in their step,
four things that move about magnificently: 70
30 a lion, mightiest 71 of the beasts,
who does not retreat from anything;
31 a strutting rooster, 72 a male goat,
and a king with his army around him. 73
32 If you have done foolishly by exalting yourself 74
or if you have planned evil,
put 75 your hand over your mouth!
33 For as the churning 76 of milk produces butter
and as punching the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger 77 produces strife. 78
31 The words of King Lemuel, 1
an oracle 2 that his mother taught him:
2 O 3 my son, O son of my womb,
O son 4 of my vows,
3 Do not give your strength 5 to women,
nor your ways 6 to that which ruins 7 kings.
4 It is not for kings, 8 O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine, 9
or for rulers to crave strong drink, 10
5 lest they drink and forget what is decreed,
and remove 11 from all the poor 12 their legal rights. 13
6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, 14
and wine to those who are bitterly distressed; 15
7 let them 16 drink and forget 17 their poverty,
and remember their misery no more.
8 Open your mouth 18 on behalf of those unable to speak, 19
for the legal rights of all the dying. 20
9 Open your mouth, judge in righteousness, 21
and plead the cause 22 of the poor and needy.
10 Who can find 23 a wife 24 of noble character? 25
For her value 26 is far more than rubies.
11 The heart of her husband has confidence 27 in her,
and he has no lack of gain. 28
12 She brings him 29 good and not evil 30
all the days of her life.
13 She obtains 31 wool and flax,
and she is pleased to work with her hands. 32
14 She is like 33 the merchant ships; 34
she brings her food from afar.
15 She also gets up 35 while it is still night,
and provides food 36 for her household and a portion 37 to her female servants.
16 She considers 38 a field and buys it;
from her own income 39 she plants a vineyard.
17 She begins 40 her work vigorously,
and she strengthens 41 her arms.
18 She knows 42 that her merchandise is good,
and her lamp 43 does not go out in the night.
19 Her hands 44 take hold 45 of the distaff,
and her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends 46 her hand 47 to the poor,
and reaches out her hand to the needy.
21 She is not 48 afraid of the snow 49 for her household,
for all of her household are clothed with scarlet. 50
22 She makes for herself coverlets; 51
her clothing is fine linen and purple. 52
23 Her husband is well-known 53 in the city gate 54
when he sits with the elders 55 of the land.
24 She makes linen garments 56 and sells them,
and supplies the merchants 57 with sashes.
25 She is clothed 58 with strength 59 and honor, 60
and she can laugh 61 at the time 62 to come.
26 She opens her mouth 63 with wisdom,
and loving instruction 64 is on her tongue.
27 She watches over 65 the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness. 66
28 Her children rise up 67 and call her blessed,
her husband 68 also praises her:
29 “Many 69 daughters 70 have done valiantly, 71
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceitful 72 and beauty is fleeting, 73
but a woman who fears the Lord 74 will be praised.
31 Give 75 her credit for what she has accomplished, 76
and let her works praise her 77 in the city gates. 78