Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
Agur builds his prayer for mediocrity on the opposite dangers to which riches and poverty are exposed.
1. It is inferred that riches beget self-sufficiency, a fancied independency and a denial or forgetfulness of God. The inference receives but too much confirmation from experience. Riches are not less prejudicial to happiness than they are to virtue. What are the chief preservatives against the dangers of riches? Let the rich man remember that all which he possesses was given to him, or more precisely, has been lent to him; that he has as much need of the assistance of the poor man as the poor man has of his; that rich and poor have the same natures, the same weaknesses and infirmities; and that the hand that gave the riches may withdraw them at any time.
2. It is shown that the peculiar and characteristic vices of poverty and want are dishonesty and discontent. The life of those in the lower ranks is subject to many hardships and miseries; and these present temptations to discontent and dishonesty. But let the poor remember that neither of these is likely to be of any service to them. Discontent always augments the evil with which we are oppressed. It adds to it its own bitterness. Dishonesty can at the utmost bring temporary relief. What is gained by fraud is usually wasted in extravagance. And who was ever known to rest with the commission of one crime? The bounds of integrity once broken through, it is rarely within our will or our power to retreat. In comparing their happiness with that of the rich, the poor are often deceived.
(Geo. Haggitt, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: