The Proverbs

Chapter 30

Agur's confession of his faith, 1-6. The two points of his prayer, 7-9. The meanest are not to be wronged, 10. Four wicked generations, 11-14. Four things insatiable, 15, 16. Parents are not to be despised, 17. Four things hard to be known, 18-20. Four things intolerable. 21-23. Four things exceeding wise, 24-28. Four things stately, 29-31. Wrath is to be prevented, 32, 33.

1 [The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy. The man spoke to Ithiel, even to Ithiel and Ucal.]

Surely I am more brutish than any man/
and do not have the understanding of a man.

I neither learned wisdom,/
nor have the knowledge of the Holy One.

Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?/
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?/
Who has bound the waters in a garment?/
Who has established all the ends of the earth?/
What is his name, and what is his son's name, if you can tell?

Every word of God is pure./
He is a shield to those who put their trust in him.

Do not add to his words,/
lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar.

Two things I have required of you,/
do not deny them to me before I die:

Keep vanity and lies far from me,/
and give me neither poverty nor riches./
Feed me with the food of my portion,

Lest I be full and deny you, and say, "Who is the LORD?"/
or lest I be poor and steal,/
and take the name of my God in vain.

10 Do not accuse a servant to his master,/
lest he curse you and you be found guilty.

11 There is a generation that curses their father/
and does not bless their mother.

12 There is a generation that is pure in their own eyes,/
but are not washed from their filthiness.

13 There is a generation, O 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 horse-leech has two daughters, crying, "Give, give."/
There are three things that are never satisfied,/
even four things that do not say, "It is enough":

16 The grave, the barren womb,/
the earth that is not filled with water,/
and the fire that does not say, "It is enough."

17 The eye that mocks at its father/
and despises to obey its 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,/
even four which I do not know:

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 young woman.

20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman:/
she eats and wipes her mouth,/
and says, "I have done no wickedness."

21 For three things the earth is disquieted,/
even for four which it cannot bear:

22 A servant when he reigns,/
a fool when he is filled with food,

23 An odious woman when she is married,/
and a woman-servant who is heir to her mistress.

24 There are four things which are little upon the earth,/
but they are very wise:

25 The ants are a people not strong,/
yet they prepare their food in the summer,

26 The conies are but a feeble people,/
yet they make their houses in the rocks,

27 The locusts have no king,/
yet all of them go forth by bands,

28 The spider takes hold with her hands,/
and is in kings' palaces.

29 There are three things which go well,/
even four are stately in going:

30 A lion, which is strongest among beasts/
and does not turn away for any,

31 A greyhound, a male goat,/
and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

32 If you have done foolishly in lifting up yourself,/
or if you have thought evil,/
lay your hand upon your mouth.

33 Surely the churning of milk brings forth butter,/
and the wringing of the nose brings forth blood,/
and the forcing of wrath brings forth strife.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Proverbs, Chapter 30[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

John Gill did not summarize this chapter in his exposition.

[v.31] - "greyhound" - From John Gill's Exposition: "So Gersom interprets the word; but Jarchi owns he does not know what is meant; and Aben Ezra only says, it is the name of a living creature, but does not say what; but observes, that some interpret it of the "bee", and others of the "eagle". The words of the original text only describe something "girt about the loins": and Kimchi observes, that some say it is a hunting dog so called, because it is thin about the loins, as if it was bound and girt; and Aristotle describes hunting dogs as well girded about their loins: but others, as Kimchi in the same place observes, interpret it of the leopard, which is small, and strong in its loins; and others of a bird called the starling; but he owns he cannot understand the meaning of its loins being girt: David de Pomis interprets it of a cock; others, he says, interpret it a hunting dog; others, a leopard; and some, a species of an unclean bird; perhaps he means the starling, as before; and so the word is used for that bird in the Talmud, and in the Arabic language. Most likely the 'horse' is meant; which is a very stately and majestic creature in its going, and is very comely when it has its harness girt on; and especially a war horse, with all its warlike accoutrements, when it proceeds to battle, and stalks on in it; this creature, one should think, could not be omitted among the four, which is described in so magnificent a manner in Job 39:19; and is called the goodly horse in the battle, Zechariah 10:3; unless a fine slender bodied race horse should be meant: the horse bids fairer than any other creature named to be what is designed." The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon also suggests either the greyhound or a war horse. The Pulpit commentary includes the zebra and the leopard, along with the war horse and greyhound, but is most in favor of the greyhound.