The words of Agur, Jakeh's son, from Massa. The man declares: I'm tired, God; I'm tired, God, and I'm exhausted.
Actually, I'm too stupid to be human, a man without understanding.
I haven't learned wisdom, nor do I have knowledge of the holy one.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind by the handful? Who has bound up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is this person's name and the name of this person's child— if you know it?
All God's words are tried and true; a shield for those who take refuge in him.
Don't add to his words, or he will correct you and show you to be a liar.
Two things I ask of you; don't keep them from me before I die:
Fraud and lies— keep far from me! Don't give me either poverty or wealth; give me just the food I need.
Or I'll be full and deny you, and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or I'll be poor and steal, and dishonor my God's name.
Don't slander a servant to his master; otherwise, the servant will curse you, and you will be guilty.
There are those who curse their father and don't bless their mother.
There are those who think they are clean, but haven't washed off their own excrement.
There are those— how arrogant are their eyes; how their eyebrows are raised!
There are those whose teeth are swords; their jaw is a butcher's knife, ready to devour the needy from the earth, and the poor from humanity.
The leech has two daughters: “Give, give!” There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, “Enough!”:
the grave and a barren womb, a land never filled with water, and fire that doesn't say, “Enough!”
An eye that mocks a father and rejects obedience to a mother, may the ravens of the river valley peck it out, and the eagle's young eat it.
Three things are too wonderful for me, four that I can't figure out:
the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on the rock, the way of a ship out on the open sea, and the way of a man with a young woman.
This is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats and wipes her mouth, and she says, "I've done nothing wrong!"
At three things the earth trembles, at four it can't bear up:
at a servant when he becomes king and fools when they are full of food;
at a detested woman when she gets married and a female servant when she replaces her mistress.
Four things are among the smallest on earth, but they are extremely wise:
Ants as creatures aren't strong, but they store away their food in the summer.
Badgers as creatures aren't powerful, but they make their homes in the rocks.
Locusts don't have a king, but they march together in ranks.
You can catch lizards in your hand, but they are in kings' palaces.
There are three things that are excellent in their stride, four that are excellent as they walk:
a lion, a warrior among beasts, which doesn't back down at anything;
the strut of a rooster or a male goat; and a king with his army.
If you've been foolish and arrogant, if you've been scheming, put your hand to your mouth,
because churning milk makes curds, squeezing the nose brings blood, and stirring up anger produces strife.
The words of King Lemuel of Massa, which his mother taught him:
No, my son! No, son of my womb! No, son of my solemn promises!
Don't give your strength to women, your ways to those who wipe out kings.
It isn't for kings, Lemuel, it isn't for kings to drink wine, for rulers to crave strong drink.
Otherwise, they will drink and forget the law, and violate the rights of the needy.
Give strong drink to those who are perishing and wine to those whose hearts are bitter.
Let them drink and forget their poverty and no longer remember their toil.
Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.
Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor.
A competent wife, how does one find her? Her value is far above pearls.
Her husband entrusts his heart to her, and with her he will have all he needs.
She brings him good and not trouble all the days of her life.
She seeks out wool and flax; she works joyfully with her hands.
She is like a fleet of merchant ships, bringing food from a distance.
She gets up while it is still night, providing food for her household, even some for her female servants.
She surveys a field and acquires it; from her own resources, she plants a vineyard.
She works energetically; her arms are powerful.
She realizes that her trading is successful; she doesn't put out her lamp at night.
She puts her hands to the spindle; her palms grasp the whorl.
She reaches out to the needy; she stretches out her hands to the poor.
She doesn't fear for her household when it snows, because they are all dressed in warm clothes.
She makes bedspreads for herself; fine linen and purple are her clothing.
Her husband is known in the city gates when he sits with the elders of the land.
She makes garments and sells them; she supplies sashes to traders.
Strength and honor are her clothing; she is confident about the future.
Her mouth is full of wisdom; kindly teaching is on her tongue. she doesn't eat the food of laziness.
She is vigilant over the activities of her household;
Her children bless her; her husband praises her:
"Many women act competently, but you surpass them all!"
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Let her share in the results of her work; let her deeds praise her in the city gates.