Proverbs 30 – “The Words of Agur; Assorted Sayings”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Agur praises the words of God and asks for an honest and simple life. A number of proverbs are presented, many of which describe a group of four related things.

II. Photo
A proverb about animals: “Four are among the tiniest on earth, Yet they are the wisest of the wise… The locusts have no king, Yet they all march forth in formation.” (vv. 24, 27)

III. Select Verses    
1: The words of Agur son of Jakeh, [man of] Massa; The speech of the man to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:
4: Who has ascended heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hand? Who has wrapped the waters in his garment? Who has established all the extremities of the earth? What is his name or his son’s name, if you know it?
5-6: Every word of God is pure, A shield to those who take refuge in Him.  Do not add to His words, Lest He indict you and you be proved a liar.
8b-10: Give me neither poverty nor riches, But provide me with my daily bread,  Lest, being sated, I renounce, saying, “Who is the LORD?” Or, being impoverished, I take to theft And profane the name of my God.
15b-16: Three things are insatiable; Four never say, “Enough!”:  Sheol, a barren womb, Earth that cannot get enough water, And fire which never says, “Enough!”
18-20: Three things are beyond me; Four I cannot fathom:  How an eagle makes its way over the sky; How a snake makes its way over a rock; How a ship makes its way through the high seas; How a man has his way with a maiden. Such is the way of an adulteress: She eats, wipes her mouth, And says, “I have done no wrong.”

IV. Outline

1-9. The words of Agur
    1. Superscription
    2-3. Declaration of humility
    4-6. Lesson
    7-9. Request for honesty and simplicity
10-33. Assorted sayings
    10. Slandering a slave
    11-15a. The needy person
    15b-16. Four insatiable things
    17. Contempt for parents
    18-20. Four wondrous things; A fifth
    21-23. Four unbearable things
    24-28. Four wise creatures
    29-31. Four creatures with great stride
    32. Arrogance
    33. Causing strife

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Michael Fox, Proverbs 10-31 (Anchor Yale Bible 18B; New Haven: Yale, 2009).
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