Proverbs 30:7
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die:

King James Bible
Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:

American Standard Version
Two things have I asked of thee; Deny me them not before I die:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Two things I have asked of thee, deny them not to me before I die.

English Revised Version
Two things have I asked of thee; deny me them not before I die:

Webster's Bible Translation
Two things have I required of thee; deny them not to me before I die:

Proverbs 30:7 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The title of this first appendix, according to the text lying before us, is:

"The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the utterance."

This title of the following collection of proverbs is limited by Olewejored; and המּשּׂא, separated from the author's name by Rebia, is interpreted as a second inscription, standing on one line with דּברי, as particularizing that first. The old synagogue tradition which, on the ground of the general title Proverbs 1:1, regarded the whole Book of Proverbs as the work of Solomon, interpreted the words, "Agur the son of Jakeh," as an allegorical designation of Solomon, who appropriated the words of the Tôra to the king, Deuteronomy 17:17, and again rejected them, for he said: God is with me, and I shall not do it (viz., take many wives, without thereby suffering injury), Schemth rabba, c. 6. The translation of Jerome: Verba congregantis filii Vomentis, is the echo of this Jewish interpretation. One would suppose that if "Agur" were Solomon's name, "Jakeh" must be that of David; but another interpretation in Midrash Mishle renders בן ("son") as the designation of the bearer of a quality, and sees in "Agur" one who girded (אגר equals חגר) his loins for wisdom; and in "son of Jakeh" one free from sin (חטא ועון נקי מכל). In the Middle Ages this mode of interpretation, which is historically and linguistically absurd, first began to prevail; for then the view was expressed by several (Aben Ezra, and Meri the Spaniard) that Agur ben Jakeh was a wise man of the time of Solomon. That of Solomon's time, they thence conclude (blind to Proverbs 25:1) that Solomon collected together these proverbs of the otherwise unknown wise man. In truth, the age of the man must remain undecided; and at all events, the time of Hezekiah is the fixed period from which, where possible, it is to be sought. The name "Agur" means the gathered (Proverbs 6:8; Proverbs 10:5), or, after the predominant meaning of the Arab. âjar, the bribed, mercede conductum; also the collector (cf. יקוּשׁ, fowler); or the word might mean, perhaps, industrious in collecting (cf. 'alwaḳ, attached to, and other examples in Mhlau, p. 36). Regarding בּן equals binj (usual in בּן־נּוּן), and its relation to the Arab. ibn, vid., Genesis, p. 555. The name Jakeh is more transparent. The noun יקהה, Proverbs 30:17; Genesis 49:10, means the obedient, from the verb יקהּ; but, formed from this verbal stem, the form of the word would be יקהּ (not יקה). The form יקה is the participial adj. from יקה, like יפה from יפה; and the Arab. waḳay, corresponding to this יקה, viii. ittaḳay, to be on one's guard, particularly before God; the usual word fore piety regarded as εὐλάβεια. Mhlau (p. 37) rightly sees in the proper names Eltekeh [Joshua 19:44] and Eltekon [Joshua 15:59] the secondary verbal stem תּקה, which, like e.g., תּוה (תּאה), תּאב, עתד, has originated from the reflexive, which in these proper names, supposing that אל is subj., means to take under protection; not: to give heed equals cavere. All these meanings are closely connected. In all these three forms - יקהּ, יקה, תּקה - the verb is a synonym of שׁמר; so that יקה denotes

(Note: According to the Lex. 'Gezer (from the Mesopotamian town of 'Geziret ibn 'Amr), the word wakihon is, in the Mesopotamian language, "the overseer of the house in which is the cross of the Christians;" and accordingly, in Muhammed's letter to the Christians of Negran, after they became subject to him, "a monk shall not be removed from his monastery, nor a presbyter from his presbyterate, (waḳâhtah) wala watah wakahyttah" (this will be the correct phrase), "nor an overseer from his office." The verbal stem waḳ-ah (יקהּ) is, as it appears, Northern Semitic; the South Arabian lexicographer Neshwan ignores it (Wetzstein in Mhlau).)

the pious, either as taking care, εὐλαβής, or as keeping, i.e., observing, viz., that which is commanded by God.

In consequence of the accentuation, המשּׂא is the second designation of this string of proverbs, and is parallel with דברי. But that is absolutely impossible. משּׂא (from נשׂא, to raise, viz., the voice, to begin to express) denotes the utterance, and according to the usage of the words before us, the divine utterance, the message of God revealed to the prophet and announced by him, for the most part, if not always (vid., at Isaiah 13:1), the message of God as the avenger. Accordingly Jewish interpreters (e.g., Meri and Arama) remark that משׂא designates what follows, as דבר נבוּאיּי, i.e., an utterance of the prophetic spirit. But, on the other hand, what follows begins with the confession of human weakness and short-sightedness; and, moreover, we read proverbs not of a divine but altogether of a human and even of a decaying spiritual stamp, besides distinguished from the Solomonic proverbs by this, that the I of the poet, which remains in the background, here comes to the front. This משׂא of prophetic utterances does not at all harmonize with the following string of proverbs. It does not so harmonize on this account, because one theme does not run through these proverbs which the sing. משׂא requires. It comes to this, that משׂא never occurs by itself in the sense of a divine, a solemn utterance, without having some more clearly defining addition, though it should be only a demonstrative הזּה (Isaiah 14:28). But what author, whether poet or prophet, would give to his work the title of משׂא, which in itself means everything, and thus nothing! And now: the utterance - what can the article at all mean here? This question has remained unanswered by every interpreter. Ewald also sees himself constrained to clothe the naked word; he does it by reading together המשׂא נאם, and translating the "sublime saying which he spoke." But apart from the consideration that Jeremiah 23:31 proves nothing for the use of this use of נאם, the form (הגבר) נאם is supported by 2 Samuel 23:1 (cf. Proverbs 30:5 with 2 Samuel 22:31); and besides, the omission of the אשׁר, and in addition of the relative pronoun (נאמו), would be an inaccuracy not at all to be expected on the brow of this gnomology (vid., Hitzig). If we leave the altogether unsuspected נאם undisturbed, המשׂא will be a nearer definition of the name of the author. The Midrash has a right suspicion, for it takes together Hamassa and Agur ben Jakeh, and explains: of Agur the son of Jakeh, who took upon himself the yoke of the most blessed. The Graecus Venetus comes nearer what is correct, for it translates: λόγοι Ἀγούρου υἱέως Ἰακέως τοῦ Μασάου. We connect Proverbs 31:1, where למוּאל מלך, "Lemuel (the) king," is a linguistic impossibility, and thus, according to the accentuation lying before us, מלך משּׂא also are to be connected together; thus it appears that משׂא must be the name of a country and a people. It was Hitzig who first made this Columbus-egg to stand. But this is the case only so far as he recognised in למואל מלך משׂא a Lemuel, the king of Massa, and recognised this Massa also in Proverbs 30:1 (vid., his dissertation: Das Knigreich Massa [the kingdom of Massa], in Zeller's Theolog. Jahrbb. 1844, and his Comm.), viz., the Israelitish Massa named in Genesis 25:14 ( equals 1 Chronicles 1:30) along with Dumah and Tema. But he proceeds in a hair-splitting way, and with ingenious hypothesis, without any valid foundation. That this Dumah is the Dumat el-jendel (cf. under Isaiah 21:11) lying in the north of Nejed, near the southern frontiers of Syria, the name and the founding of which is referred by the Arabians to Dm the son of Ishmael, must be regarded as possible, and consequently Massa is certainly to be sought in Northern Arabia. But if, on the ground of 1 Chronicles 4:42., he finds there a Simeonitic kingdom, and finds its origin in this, that the tribe of Simeon originally belonging to the ten tribes, and thus coming from the north settled in the south of Judah, and from thence in the days of Hezekiah, fleeing before the Assyrians, were driven farther and farther in a south-east direction towards Northern Arabia; on the contrary, it has been shown by Graf (The Tribe of Simeon, a contribution to the history of Israel, 1866) that Simeon never settled in the north of the Holy Land, and according to existing evidences extended their settlement from Negeb partly into the Idumean highlands, but not into the highlands of North Arabia. Hitzig thinks that there are found traces of the Massa of Agur and Lemuel in the Jewish town

(Note: Cf. Blau's Arab. im sechsten Jahrh. in the Deutsch. Morgl. Zeits. xxxiii. 590, and also p. 573 of the same, regarding a family of proselytes among the Jews in Taima.)

of טילמאס, of Benjamin of Tudela, lying three days' journey from Chebar, and in the proper name (Arab.) Malsā (smooth), which is given to a rock between Tema and Wady el-Kora (vid., Kosegarten's Chestom. p. 143); but how notched his ingenuity here is need scarcely be shown. By means of more cautious combinations Mhlau has placed the residence of Agur and Lemuel in the Hauran mountain range, near which there is a Dumah, likewise a Tm; and in the name of the town Mismje, lying in the Lej, is probably found the Mishma which is named along with Massa, Genesis 25:14; and from this that is related in 1 Chronicles 5:9., 1 Chronicles 5:18-22, of warlike expeditions on the part of the tribes lying on the east of the Jordan against the Hagarenes and their allies Jetur, Nephish, and Nodab,

(Note: Mhlau combines Nodab with Nudbe to the south-east of Bosra; Blau (Deut. Morg. Zeit. xxv. 566), with the Ναβδαῖοι of Eupolemos named along with the Ναβατοῖοι. The Kams has Nadab as the name of a tribe.)

it is with certainty concluded that in the Hauran, and in the wilderness which stretches behind the Euphrates towards it, Israelitish tribes have had their abode, whose territory had been early seized by the trans-Jordanic tribes, and was held "until the captivity," 1 Chronicles 5:22, i.e., till the Assyrian deportation. This designation of time is almost as unfavourable to Mhlau's theory of a Massa in the Hauran, inhabited by Israelitish tribes from the other side, as the expression "to Mount Seir" (1 Chronicles 4:42) is to Hitzig's North Arabian Massa inhabited by Simeonites. We must leave it undecided whether Dumah and Tm, which the Toledoth of Ismael name in the neighbourhood of Massa, are the east Hauran districts now existing; or as Blau (Deut. Morgl. Zeit. xxv. 539), with Hitzig, supposes, North Arabian districts (cf. Genesis. p. 377, 4th ed.).

(Note: Dozy (Israeliten in Mecca, p. 89f.) connects Massa with Mansh, a pretended old name of Mecca.)

"Be it as it may, the contents and the language of this difficult piece almost necessarily point to a region bordering on the Syro-Arabian waste. Ziegler's view (Neue Uebers. der Denksprche Salomo's, 1791, p. 29), that Lemuel was probably an emir of an Arabian tribe in the east of Jordan, and that a wise Hebrew translated those proverbs of the emir into Hebrew, is certainly untenable, but does not depart so far from the end as may appear at the first glance" (Mhlau).

(Note: These German quotations with the name of Mhlau are taken from the additions to his book, which he placed at my disposal.)

If the text-punctuation lying before us rests on the false supposition that Massa, Proverbs 30:1; Proverbs 31:1, is a generic name, and not a proper name, then certainly the question arises whether משׂא should not be used instead of משּׂא, much more משׂא, which is suggested as possible in the article "Sprche," in Herzog's Encycl. xiv. 694. Were משׁא, Genesis 10:30, the region Μεσήνη, on the northern border of the Persian Gulf, in which Apamea lay, then it might be said in favour of this, that as the histories of Muhammed and of Benjamin of Tudela prove the existence of an old Jewish occupation of North Arabia, but without anything being heard of a משּׂא, the Talmud bears testimony


Proverbs 30:7 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


1 Kings 3:5-9 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give you...

2 Kings 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you...

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life...

Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

deny me them not or withhold them not from me

Psalm 21:2 You have given him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.

Cross References
Proverbs 30:6
Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

Proverbs 30:8
Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,

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