Sayings of Agur
1The words of Agur son of Jakeh of Massa.a
The man says to Ith'i-el,
to Ith'i-el and Ucal:b
2Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
3I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
4Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son's name?
Surely you know!
5Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
7Two things I ask of thee;
deny them not to me before I die:
8Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9lest I be full, and deny thee,
and say, "Who is the Lord?"
or lest I be poor, and steal,
and profane the name of my God.
10Do not slander a servant to his master,
lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
11There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12There are those who are pure in their own eyes
but are not cleansed of their filth.
13There are those-how lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
14There are those whose teeth are swords,
whose teeth are knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among men.
15The leechc has two daughters;
"Give, give," they cry.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, "Enough":
16Sheol, the barren womb,
the earth ever thirsty for water,
and the fire which never says, "Enough."d
17The eye that mocks a father
and scorns to obey a mother
will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
18Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
19the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a maiden.
20This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats, and wipes her mouth,
and says, "I have done no wrong."
21Under three things the earth trembles;
under four it cannot bear up:
22a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is filled with food;
23an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
and a maid when she succeeds her mistress.
24Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26the badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the rocks;
27the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
28the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings' palaces.
29Three things are stately in their tread;
four are stately in their stride:
30the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and does not turn back before any;
31the strutting cock,e the he-goat,
and a king striding beforef his people.
32If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
33For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.