The Words of Agur
1 These are the words of Agur son of Jakeh—the burden that this man declared to Ithiel:
“I am weary, O God,
and worn out. a
2 Surely I am the most ignorant of men,
and I lack the understanding of a man.
3 I have not learned wisdom,
and I have no knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in His hands?
Who has bound up the waters in His cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is the name of His Son—
surely you know!
5 Every word of God is flawless;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
6 Do not add to His words,
lest He rebuke you and prove you a liar.
7 Two things I ask of You—
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me.
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the bread that is my portion.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much
and deny You, saying, ‘Who is the LORD?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
profaning the name of my God.
10 Do not slander a servant to his master,
or he will curse you, and you will bear the guilt.
11 There is a generation of those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12 There is a generation of those who are pure in their own eyes
and yet unwashed of their filth.
13 There is a generation—how haughty are their eyes
and pretentious are their glances—
14 there is a generation whose teeth are swords
and whose jaws are knives,
devouring the oppressed from the earth
and the needy from among men.
15 The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.
There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:
the barren womb,
land never satisfied with water,
and fire that never says, ‘Enough!’
17 As for the eye that mocks a father
and scorns obedience to a mother,
may the ravens of the valley pluck it out
and young vultures devour it.
18 There are three things too wonderful for me, four that I cannot understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship at sea,
and the way of a man with a maiden.
20 This is the way of an adulteress:
She eats and wipes her mouth
and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong.’
21 Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king,
a fool who is filled with food,
23 an unloved woman who marries,
and a maidservant who supplants her mistress.
24 Four things on earth are small, yet they are exceedingly wise:
25 The ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;
27 the locusts have no king, yet they all advance in formation;
28 and the lizard can be caught in one’s hands, yet it is found in the palaces of kings.
29 There are three things that are stately in their stride, and four that are impressive in their walk:
30 a lion, mighty among beasts, refusing to retreat before anything;
31 a strutting rooster;
and a king with his army around him. c
32 If you have foolishly exalted yourself
or if you have plotted evil,
put your hand over your mouth.
33 For as the churning of milk yields butter,
and the twisting of the nose draws blood,
so the stirring of anger brings forth strife.”
1 a Or declared to Ithiel: “I am weary, O God, but I can prevail. (revocalizations); Hebrew declared to Ithiel—to Ithiel and Ucal:
26 b Or the coneys or the hyraxes
31 c Or a king against whom there is no rising up