Proverbs 30
New American Bible Revised Edition

VII. Sayings of Agur and Others

1* The words of Agur, son of Jakeh the Massaite:

The pronouncement of mortal man: “I am weary, O God;

I am weary, O God, and I am exhausted.

2I am more brute than human being,

without even human intelligence;

3* Neither have I learned wisdom,

nor have I the knowledge of the Holy One.

4Who has gone up to heaven and come down again—

who has cupped the wind in the hollow of the hand?

Who has bound up the waters in a cloak—

who has established all the ends of the earth?

What is that person’s name, or the name of his son?”*

5* Every word of God is tested;a

he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

6Add nothing to his words,b

lest he reprimand you, and you be proved a liar.

7* Two things I ask of you,

do not deny them to me before I die:

8Put falsehood and lying far from me,

give me neither poverty nor riches;

provide me only with the food I need;

9Lest, being full, I deny you,

saying, “Who is the Lord?”

Or, being in want, I steal,

and profane the name of my God.

10Do not criticize servants to their master,

lest they curse you, and you have to pay the penalty.

11* There are some who curse their fathers,

and do not bless their mothers.c

12There are some pure in their own eyes,

yet not cleansed of their filth.

13There are some—how haughty their eyes!

how overbearing their glance!

14There are some—their teeth are swords,

their teeth are knives,

Devouring the needy from the earth,

and the poor from the human race.

15* The leech has two daughters:

“Give,” and “Give.”

Three things never get their fill,

four never say, “Enough!”

16Sheol, a barren womb,d

land that never gets its fill of water,

and fire, which never says, “Enough!”

17The eye that mocks a father,

or scorns the homage due a mother,

Will be plucked out by brook ravens;

devoured by a brood of vultures.

18* Three things are too wonderful for me,

yes, four I cannot understand:

19The way of an eagle in the sky,

the way of a serpent upon a rock,

The way of a ship on the high seas,

and the way of a man with a woman.

20This is the way of an adulterous woman:

she eats, wipes her mouth,

and says, “I have done no wrong.”*

21* Under three things the earth trembles,

yes, under four it cannot bear up:

22Under a slave who becomes king,

and a fool who is glutted with food;e

23Under an unloved woman who is wed,

and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.

24* Four things are among the smallest on the earth,

and yet are exceedingly wise:

25Ants—a species not strong,

yet they store up their food in the summer;

26Badgers—a species not mighty,

yet they make their home in the crags;

27Locusts—they have no king,

yet they march forth in formation;

28Lizards—you can catch them with your hands,

yet they find their way into kings’ palaces.

29* Three things are stately in their stride,

yes, four are stately in their carriage:

30The lion, mightiest of beasts,

retreats before nothing;

31The strutting cock, and the he-goat,

and the king at the head of his people.

32* If you have foolishly been proud

or presumptuous—put your hand on your mouth;

33For as the churning of milk produces curds,

and the pressing of the nose produces blood,

the churning of anger produces strife.

Book Introduction


Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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