The Observations of Agur
30 1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh; the prophecy uttered by the man unto Ithiel, [even] unto Ithiel and Ucal: 2 Truly I am more stupid than any one; and I have not a man's intelligence. 3 I have neither learned wisdom, nor have I the knowledge of the Holy. 4 Who hath ascended up into the heavens, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a mantle? 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 pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
7 Two things do I ask of thee; deny me [them] not before I die: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the bread of my daily need: 9 lest I be full and deny [thee], and say, Who is Jehovah? or lest I be poor and steal, and outrage the name of my God.
10 Speak not too much about a servant to his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be held guilty. 11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother; 12 there is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, yet are not washed from their filthiness; 13 there is a generation,—how lofty are their eyes, how their eyelids are lifted up! 14 —a generation whose teeth are swords, and their jaw-teeth knives, to devour the afflicted from off the earth, and the needy from [among] men.
15 The leech hath two daughters: Give, give. There are three [things] never satisfied; four which say not, It is enough: 16 —Sheol, and the barren womb; the earth which is not filled with water, and the fire which saith not, It is enough. 17 The eye that mocketh at a father, and despiseth to obey a mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
18 There are three [things] too wonderful for me, and four that I know not: 19 The way of an eagle in the heavens, 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 maid. 20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman: she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness. 21 Under three [things] the earth is disquieted, and under four it cannot bear up: 22 Under a servant when he reigneth, and a churl when he is filled with meat; 23 under an odious [woman] when she is married, and a handmaid when she is heir to her mistress.
24 There are four [things] little upon the earth, and they are exceeding wise: 25 The ants, a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; 26 the rock-badgers are but a feeble folk, yet they make their house in the cliff; 27 the locusts have no king, yet they go forth all of them by bands; 28 thou takest hold of the lizard with the hands, yet is she in kings' palaces.
29 There are three [things] which have a stately step, and four are comely in going: 30 The lion, mighty among beasts, which turneth not away for any; 31 a [horse] girt in the loins; or the he-goat; and a king, against whom none can rise up. 32 If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, [lay] the hand upon thy mouth. 33 For the pressing of milk bringeth forth butter, and the pressing of the nose bringeth forth blood; and the pressing of anger bringeth forth strife.
Admonitions to a King
31 1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that 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 them that destroy kings. 4 It is not for kings, Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for rulers [to say], Where is the strong drink? 5 —lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the children of affliction. 6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto the bitter of soul: 7 let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. 8 Open thy mouth for the dumb, for the cause of all those that are left desolate. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and minister justice to the afflicted and needy.
Praise of a Good Woman
10 Who can find a woman of worth? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband confideth in her, and he shall have no lack of spoil. 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 merchants' ships: she bringeth her food from afar; 15 And she riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and the day's work to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and acquireth it; of 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 earning is good; her lamp goeth not out by night. 19 She putteth her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the afflicted, and 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 herself coverlets; her clothing is byssus and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh body linen and selleth it, and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laugheth [at] the coming day. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and upon her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She surveyeth 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: 29 Many daughters have done worthily, but thou excellest them all. 30 Gracefulness is deceitful and beauty is vain; a woman [that] feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.