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Sayings of Agur

1The words of Agur son of Jakeh. An oracle.

Thus says the man: I am weary, O God,

I am weary, O God. How can I prevail?

2Surely I am too stupid to be human;

I do not have human understanding.

3I have not learned wisdom,

nor have I knowledge of the holy ones.

4Who has ascended to heaven and come down?

Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of the hand?

Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?

Who has established all the ends of the earth?

What is the person’s name?

And what is the name of the person’s child?

Surely you know!

5Every word of God proves true;

he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

6Do not add to his words,

or else he will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar.

7Two things I ask of you;

do not deny them to me before I die:

8Remove far from me falsehood and lying;

give me neither poverty nor riches;

feed me with the food that I need,

9or I shall be full, and deny you,

and say, “Who is the Lord?”

or I shall be poor, and steal,

and profane the name of my God.

10Do not slander a servant to a master,

or the servant will curse you, and you will be held guilty.

11There are those who curse their fathers

and do not bless their mothers.

12There are those who are pure in their own eyes

yet are not cleansed of their filthiness.

13There are those—how lofty are their eyes,

how high their eyelids lift!—

14there are those whose teeth are swords,

whose teeth are knives,

to devour the poor from off the earth,

the needy from among mortals.

15The leech has two daughters;

“Give, give,” they cry.

Three things are never satisfied;

four never say, “Enough”:

16Sheol, the barren womb,

the earth ever thirsty for water,

and the fire that never says, “Enough.”

17The eye that mocks a father

and scorns to obey a mother

will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley

and eaten by the vultures.

18Three things are too wonderful for me;

four I do not understand:

19the way of an eagle in the sky,

the way of a snake on a rock,

the way of a ship on the high seas,

and the way of a man with a girl.

20This is the way of an adulteress:

she eats, and wipes her mouth,

and says, “I have done no wrong.”

21Under three things the earth trembles;

under four it cannot bear up:

22a slave when he becomes king,

and a fool when glutted with food;

23an unloved woman when she gets a husband,

and a maid when she succeeds her mistress.

24Four things on earth are small,

yet they are exceedingly wise:

25the ants are a people without strength,

yet they provide their food in the summer;

26the badgers are a people without power,

yet they make their homes in the rocks;

27the locusts have no king,

yet all of them march in rank;

28the lizard can be grasped in the hand,

yet it is found in kings’ palaces.

29Three things are stately in their stride;

four are stately in their gait:

30the lion, which is mightiest among wild animals

and does not turn back before any;

31the strutting rooster, the he-goat,

and a king striding before his people.

32If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,

or if you have been devising evil,

put your hand on your mouth.

33For as pressing milk produces curds,

and pressing the nose produces blood,

so pressing anger produces strife.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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