The Observations of Agur
30 1 Words of a Gatherer, son of an obedient one, the declaration, an affirmation of the man:—I have wearied myself 'for' God, I have wearied myself 'for' God, and am consumed. 2 For I am more brutish than any one, And have not the understanding of a man. 3 Nor have I learned wisdom, Yet the knowledge of Holy Ones I know. 4 Who went up to heaven, and cometh down? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound waters in a garment? Who established all ends of the earth? What 'is' His name? and what His son's name? Surely thou knowest! 5 Every saying of God 'is' tried, A shield He 'is' to those trusting in Him. 6 Add not to His words, lest He reason with thee, And thou hast been found false.
7 Two things I have asked from Thee, Withhold not from me before I die. 8 Vanity and a lying word put far from me, Poverty or wealth give not to me, Cause me to eat the bread of my portion, 9 Lest I become satiated, and have denied, And have said, 'Who 'is' Jehovah?' And lest I be poor, and have stolen, And have laid hold of the name of my God.
10 Accuse not a servant unto his lord, Lest he disesteem thee, and thou be found guilty. 11 A generation 'is', that lightly esteemeth their father, And their mother doth not bless. 12 A generation—pure in their own eyes, But from their own filth not washed. 13 A generation—how high are their eyes, Yea, their eyelids are lifted up. 14 A generation—swords 'are' their teeth, And knives—their jaw-teeth, To consume the poor from earth, And the needy from 'among' men.
15 To the leech 'are' two daughters, 'Give, give, Lo, three things are not satisfied, Four have not said 'Sufficiency;' 16 Sheol, and a restrained womb, Earth—it 'is' not satisfied 'with' water, And fire—it hath not said, 'Sufficiency,' 17 An eye that mocketh at a father, And despiseth to obey a mother, Dig it out do ravens of the valley, And eat it do young eagles.
18 Three things have been too wonderful for me, Yea, four that I have not known: 19 The way of the eagle in the heavens, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the heart of the sea, And the way of a man in youth. 20 So—the way of an adulterous woman, She hath eaten and hath wiped her mouth, And hath said, 'I have not done iniquity.' 21 For three things hath earth been troubled, And for four—it is not able to bear: 22 For a servant when he reigneth, And a fool when he is satisfied with bread, 23 For a hated one when she ruleth, And a maid-servant when she succeedeth her mistress.
24 Four 'are' little ones of earth, And they are made wiser than the wise: 25 The ants 'are' a people not strong, And they prepare in summer their food, 26 Conies 'are' a people not strong, And they place in a rock their house, 27 A king there is not to the locust, And it goeth out—each one shouting, 28 A spider with two hands taketh hold, And is in the palaces of a king.
29 Three there are going well, Yea, four are good in going: 30 An old lion—mighty among beasts, That turneth not back from the face of any, 31 A girt one of the loins, or a he-goat, And a king—no rising up with him. 32 If thou hast been foolish in lifting up thyself, And if thou hast devised evil—hand to mouth! 33 For the churning of milk bringeth out butter, And the wringing of the nose bringeth out blood, And the forcing of anger bringeth out strife!
Admonitions to a King
31 1 Words of Lemuel a king, a declaration that his mother taught him: 2 'What, my son? and what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows? 3 Give not to women thy strength, And thy ways to wiping away of kings. 4 Not for kings, O Lemuel, Not for kings, to drink wine, And for princes a desire of strong drink. 5 Lest he drink, and forget the decree, And change the judgment of any of the sons of affliction. 6 Give strong drink to the perishing, And wine to the bitter in soul, 7 He drinketh, and forgetteth his poverty, And his misery he remembereth not again. 8 Open thy mouth for the dumb, For the right of all sons of change. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, Both the cause of the poor and needy!'
Praise of a Good Woman
10 A woman of worth who doth find? Yea, far above rubies 'is' her price. 11 The heart of her husband hath trusted in her, And spoil he lacketh not. 12 She hath done him good, and not evil, All days of her life. 13 She hath sought wool and flax, And with delight she worketh 'with' her hands. 14 She hath been as ships of the merchant, From afar she bringeth in her bread. 15 Yea, she riseth while yet night, And giveth food to her household, And a portion to her damsels. 16 She hath considered a field, and taketh it, From the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. 17 She hath girded with might her loins, And doth strengthen her arms. 18 She hath perceived when her merchandise 'is' good, Her lamp is not extinguished in the night. 19 Her hands she hath sent forth on a spindle, And her hands have held a distaff. 20 Her hand she hath spread forth to the poor, Yea, her hands she sent forth to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of her household from snow, For all her household are clothed 'with' scarlet. 22 Ornamental coverings she hath made for herself, Silk and purple 'are' her clothing. 23 Known in the gates is her husband, In his sitting with elders of the land. 24 Linen garments she hath made, and selleth, And a girdle she hath given to the merchant. 25 Strength and honour 'are' her clothing, And she rejoiceth at a latter day. 26 Her mouth she hath opened in wisdom, And the law of kindness 'is' on her tongue. 27 She 'is' watching the ways of her household, And bread of sloth she eateth not. 28 Her sons have risen up, and pronounce her happy, Her husband, and he praiseth her, 29 'Many 'are' the daughters who have done worthily, Thou hast gone up above them all.' 30 The grace 'is' false, and the beauty 'is' vain, A woman fearing Jehovah, she may boast herself. 31 Give ye to her of the fruit of her hands, And her works do praise her in the gates!