The Words of Agur
30 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.1
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.2
2 Surely I am too mstupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of nthe Holy One.
4 Who has oascended to heaven and come down?
Who has pgathered the wind in his fists?
Who has qwrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all rthe ends of the earth?
sWhat is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!
5 tEvery word of God proves true;
he is ua shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 vDo not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
7 Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me wbefore I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is xneedful for me,
9 lest I be yfull and zdeny you
and say, a“Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
band profane the name of my God.
10 cDo not slander a servant to his master,
dlest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
11 There are those1 who ecurse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are those who are fclean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
13 There are those—how glofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
14 There are those whose teeth are hswords,
whose ifangs are knives,
to jdevour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mankind.
15 The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.2
kThree things are never satisfied;
kfour never say, “Enough”:
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
17 The eye that nmocks a father
and oscorns to obey a mother
will pbe picked out by qthe ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
18 kThree things are rtoo wonderful for me;
kfour I do not understand:
19 the 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 virgin.
20 This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have done no wrong.”
21 Under kthree things sthe earth trembles;
under kfour it cannot bear up:
22 ta slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is ufilled with food;
23 van unloved woman when she wgets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
24 kFour things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 xthe ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 ythe rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no zking,
yet all of them march in arank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces.
29 bThree things are stately in their tread;
bfour are stately in their stride:
30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and cdoes not turn back before any;
31 the dstrutting rooster,3 the he-goat,
and a king whose army is with him.4
32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
eput your hand on your mouth.
33 For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.
The Words of King Lemuel
31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
2 What are you doing, my son?5 What are you doing, fson of my womb?
What are you doing, gson of my vows?
3 Do hnot give your strength to women,
your ways to those iwho destroy kings.
4 jIt is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings kto drink wine,
or for rulers to take lstrong drink,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and mpervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to the one who nis perishing,
and wine to othose in bitter distress;6
7 plet them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8 qOpen your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.7
9 Open your mouth, rjudge righteously,
The Woman Who Fears the Lord
10 8 uAn excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than vjewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She wseeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She xrises while it is yet night
and yprovides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She zdresses herself9 with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She aopens her hand to bthe poor
and reaches out her hands to bthe needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in cscarlet.10
22 She makes dbed coverings for herself;
her clothing is efine linen and fpurple.
23 Her husband is known in gthe gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes hlinen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 iStrength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many jwomen have done kexcellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 lCharm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.