The Observations of Agur
30 1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh; The oracle. The man saith unto Ithiel, unto Ithiel and Ucal: 2 Surely I am more brutish than any man, And have not the understanding of a man; 3 And I have not learned wisdom, Neither have I the knowledge of the Holy One. 4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest? 5 Every word of God is tried: He is a shield unto them that take refuge in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, Lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
7 Two things have I asked of thee; Deny me [them] not before I die: 8 Remove far from me falsehood and lies; Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is needful for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, Who is Jehovah? Or lest I be poor, and steal, And use profanely the name of my God.
10 Slander not a servant unto his master, Lest he curse thee, and thou be held guilty. 11 There is a generation that curse their father, And bless not their mother. 12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, And [yet] are not washed from their filthiness. 13 There is a generation, oh how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation whose teeth are [as] swords, and their jaw teeth [as] knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
15 The horseleach hath two daughters, [crying], Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, [Yea], four that say not, Enough: 16 Sheol; And the barren womb; The earth that is not satisfied with water; And the fire that saith not, Enough. 17 The eye that mocketh at his father, And despiseth to obey his mother, The ravens of the valley shall pick it out, And the young eagles shall eat it.
18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Yea, four which I know not: 19 The way of an eagle in the air; The way of a serpent upon a rock; The way of a ship in the midst of the sea; And the way of a man with a maiden. 20 So is the way of an adulterous woman; She eateth, and wipeth her mouth, And saith, I have done no wickedness. 21 For three things the earth doth tremble, And for four, [which] it cannot bear: 22 For a servant when he is king; And a fool when he is filled with food; 23 For an odious woman when she is married; And a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.
24 There are four things which are little upon the earth, But they are exceeding wise: 25 The ants are a people not strong, Yet they provide their food in the summer; 26 The conies are but a feeble folk, Yet make they their houses in the rocks; 27 The locusts have no king, Yet go they forth all of them by bands; 28 The lizard taketh hold with her hands, Yet is she in kings' palaces.
29 There are three things which are stately in their march, Yea, four which are stately in going: 30 The lion, which is mightiest among beasts, And turneth not away for any; 31 The greyhound; The he-goat also; And the king against whom there is no rising up. 32 If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, Or if thou hast thought evil, [Lay] thy hand upon thy mouth. 33 For the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, And the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood; So the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.
Admonitions to a King
31 1 The words of king Lemuel; the oracle which his mother taught him. 2 What, my son? and what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? 3 Give not thy strength unto women, Nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; Nor for princes [to say], Where is strong drink? 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, And pervert the justice [due] to any that is afflicted. 6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, And wine unto the bitter in soul: 7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more. 8 Open thy mouth for the dumb, In the cause of all such as are left desolate. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, And minister justice to the poor and needy.
Praise of a Good Woman
10 A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband trusteth in her, And he shall have no lack of gain. 12 She doeth him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool and flax, And worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant-ships; She bringeth her bread from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, And giveth food to her household, And their task to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it; With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, And maketh strong her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh linen garments and selleth them, And delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing; And she laugheth at the time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband [also], and he praiseth her, [saying]: 29 Many daughters have done worthily, But thou excellest them all. 30 Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; [But] a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her works praise her in the gates.
11 1 Would that ye could bear with me in a little foolishness: but indeed ye do bear with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you [as] a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or [if] ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with [him].
5 For I reckon that I am not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 6 But though [I be] rude in speech, yet [am I] not in knowledge; nay, in every way have we made [this] manifest unto you in all things. 7 Or did I commit a sin in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I preached to you the gospel of God for nought? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages [of them] that I might minister unto you; 9 and when I was present with you and was in want, I was not a burden on any man; for the brethren, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my want; and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and [so] will I keep [myself]. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this glorying in the regions of Achaia. 11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. 12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them that desire an occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light. 15 It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.