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.]

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

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

4 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?

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

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

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

8 Remove far from me vanity and lies, and give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food convenient for me,

9 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 maid.

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 handmaid 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 king's 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.

Commentary

Matthew Henry Commentary - Proverbs, Chapter 30

Notes

[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.

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