The Words of Agur
1 The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh; an oracle:
This man says to Ithiel, to Ithiel and to Ukal:
2 Surely I am more brutish than any other human being,
and I do not have human understanding;
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor do I have knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has ascended into heaven, and then descended?
Who has gathered up the winds in his fists?
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 his son’s name? – if you know!
5 Every word of God is purified;
he is like a shield for those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he reprove you, and prove you to be a liar.
7 Two things I ask from you;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
do not give me poverty or riches,
feed me with my allotted portion of bread,
9 lest I become satisfied and act deceptively
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I become poor and steal
and demean the name of my God.
10 Do not slander a servant to his master,
lest he curse you, and you are found guilty.
11 There is a generation who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12 There is a generation who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not washed from their filthiness.
13 There is a generation whose eyes are so lofty,
and whose eyelids are lifted up disdainfully.
14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords
and whose molars are like knives
to devour the poor from the earth
and the needy from among the human race.
15 The leech has two daughters:
There are three things that are never satisfied,
four that never say, “Enough” –
16 the grave, the barren womb,
land that is not satisfied with water,
and fire that never says, “Enough!”
17 The eye that mocks at a father
and despises obeying a mother –
the ravens of the valley will peck it out
and the young vultures will eat it.
18 There are three things that are too wonderful for me,
four that I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship in the sea,
and the way of a man with a woman.
20 This is the way of an adulterous woman:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have not done wrong.”
21 Under three things the earth trembles,
and under four things it cannot bear up:
22 under a servant who becomes king,
under a fool who is stuffed with food,
23 under an unloved woman who is married,
and under a female servant who dispossesses her mistress.
24 There are four things on earth that are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 ants are creatures with little strength,
but they prepare their food in the summer;
26 rock badgers are creatures with little power,
but they make their homes in the crags;
27 locusts have no king,
but they all go forward by ranks;
28 a lizard you can catch with the hand,
but it gets into the palaces of the king.
29 There are three things that are magnificent in their step,
four things that move about magnificently:
30 a lion, mightiest of the beasts,
who does not retreat from anything;
31 a strutting rooster, a male goat,
and a king with his army around him.
32 If you have done foolishly by exalting yourself
or if you have planned evil,
put your hand over your mouth!
33 For as the churning of milk produces butter
and as punching the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife.