Proverbs 30

Listen to Proverbs 30

The Words of Agur

1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.[a]The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out.[b]
2 Surely I am too 1stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man.
3 I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of 2the Holy One.
4 Who has 3ascended to heaven and come down? Who has 4gathered the wind in his fists? Who has 5wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all 6the ends of the earth? 7What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!
5 8Every word of God proves true; he is 9a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 10Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
7 Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me 11before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is 12needful for me,
9 lest I be 13full and 14deny you and say, 15"Who is the LORD?" or lest I be poor and steal 16and profane the name of my God.
10 17Do not slander a servant to his master, 18lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
11 There are those[c] who 19curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are those who are 20clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth.
13 There are those--how 21lofty are their eyes, how high their eyelids lift!
14 There are those whose teeth are 22swords, whose 23fangs are knives, to 24devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind.
15 The leech has two daughters: Give and Give.[d] 25Three things are never satisfied; 26four never say, "Enough":
16 27Sheol, 28the barren womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, "Enough."
17 The eye that 29mocks a father and 30scorns to obey a mother will 31be picked out by 32the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.
18 33Three things are 34too wonderful for me; 35four I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.
20 This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, "I have done no wrong."
21 Under 36three things 37the earth trembles; under 38four it cannot bear up:
22 39a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is 40filled with food;
23 41an unloved woman when she 42gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
24 43Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise:
25 44the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 45the rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no 46king, yet all of them march in 47rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings' palaces.
29 48Three things are stately in their tread; 49four are stately in their stride:
30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts and 50does not turn back before any;
31 the 51strutting rooster,[e] the he-goat, and a king whose army is with him.[f]
32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, 52put your hand on your mouth.
33 For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.

Proverbs 30 Commentary

Chapter 30

Verses 1-6 Agur speaks of himself as wanting a righteousness, and having done very foolishly. And it becomes us all to have low thoughts of ourselves. He speaks of himself as wanting revelation to guide him in the ways of truth and wisdom. The more enlightened people are, the more they lament their ignorance; the more they pray for clearer, still clearer discoveries of God, and his rich grace in Christ Jesus. In ver. Verse 4 , there is a prophetic notice of Him who came down from heaven to be our Instructor and Saviour, and then ascended into heaven to be our Advocate. The Messiah is here spoken of as a Person distinct from the Father, but his name as yet secret. The great Redeemer, in the glories of his providence and grace, cannot be found out to perfection. Had it not been for Christ, the foundations of the earth had sunk under the load of the curse upon the ground, for man's sin. Who, and what is the mighty One that doeth all this? There is not the least ground to suspect anything wanting in the word of God; adding to his words opens the way to errors and corruptions.

Verses 7-9 Agur wisely prayed for a middle state, that he might be kept at a distance from temptations; he asked daily bread suited to his station, his family, and his real good. There is a remarkable similarity between this prayer and several clauses of the Lord's prayer. If we are removed from vanity and lies; if we are interested in the pardoning love of Christ, and have him for our portion; if we walk with God, then we shall have all we can ask or think, as to spiritual things. When we consider how those who have abundance are prone to abuse the gift, and what it is to suffer want, Agur's prayer will ever be found a wise one, though seldom offered. Food convenient; what is so for one, may not be so for another; but we may be sure that our heavenly Father will supply all our need, and not suffer us to want anything good for us; and why should we wish for more?

Verse 10 Slander not a servant to his master, accuse him not in small matters, to make mischief. ( 11-14 ) . In every age there are monsters of ingratitude who ill-treat their parents. Many persuade themselves they are holy persons, whose hearts are full of sin, and who practise secret wickedness. There are others whose lofty pride is manifest. There have also been cruel monsters in every age. ( 15-17 ) . Cruelty and covetousness are two daughters of the horseleech, that still cry, "Give, give," and they are continually uneasy to themselves. Four things never are satisfied, to which these devourers are compared. Those are never rich that are always coveting. And many who have come to a bad end, have owned that their wicked courses began by despising their parents' authority. ( 18-20 ) . Four things cannot be fully known. The kingdom of nature is full of marvels. The fourth is a mystery of iniquity; the cursed arts by which a vile seducer gains the affections of a female; and the arts which a vile woman uses to conceal her wickedness. ( 21-23 ) Four sorts of persons are very troublesome. Men of low origin and base spirit, who, getting authority, become tyrants. Foolish and violent men indulging in excesses. A woman of a contentious spirit and vicious habits. A servant who has obtained undue influence. Let those whom Providence has advanced from low beginnings, carefully watch against that sin which most easily besets them. ( 24-28 ) . Four things that are little, are yet to be admired. There are those who are poor in the world, and of small account, yet wise for their souls and another world. ( 29-33 ) . We may learn from animals to go well; also to keep our temper under all provocations. We must keep the evil thought in our minds from breaking out into evil speeches. We must not stir up the passions of others. Let nothing be said or done with violence, but every thing with softness and calmness. Alas, how often have we done foolishly in rising up against the Lord our King! Let us humble ourselves before him. And having found peace with Him, let us follow peace with all men.

Cross References 52

  • 1. See Psalms 49:10
  • 2. Proverbs 9:10
  • 3. John 3:13
  • 4. [Isaiah 40:12]; See Job 38:4-11; Psalms 104:3-6
  • 5. Job 26:8
  • 6. Psalms 22:27
  • 7. [Revelation 19:12]
  • 8. Psalms 12:6; Psalms 18:30
  • 9. See Psalms 3:3
  • 10. Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; [Revelation 22:18]
  • 11. Genesis 45:28
  • 12. Job 23:12; Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3
  • 13. Deuteronomy 8:12; Deuteronomy 31:20; Deuteronomy 32:15; Nehemiah 9:25; [ver. 22]
  • 14. Joshua 24:27
  • 15. Exodus 5:2
  • 16. [Job 21:14, 15]; See Exodus 20:7
  • 17. [Psalms 15:3; Psalms 101:5]
  • 18. Ecclesiastes 7:21
  • 19. Proverbs 20:20; [ver. 17]; See Exodus 21:17
  • 20. Proverbs 16:2; [Luke 18:11; Revelation 3:17]
  • 21. See Psalms 101:5
  • 22. See Psalms 57:4
  • 23. Job 29:17
  • 24. See Psalms 14:4
  • 25. ver. 18, 21, 29; [Proverbs 6:16]
  • 26. ver. 18, 21, 29; [Proverbs 6:16]
  • 27. See Proverbs 27:20
  • 28. [Genesis 30:1]
  • 29. [ver. 11; Genesis 9:22]
  • 30. [Proverbs 23:22]
  • 31. [Numbers 16:14]
  • 32. [Jeremiah 16:4]
  • 33. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 34. See Job 42:3
  • 35. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 36. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 37. Joel 2:10; Amos 8:8
  • 38. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 39. Proverbs 19:10
  • 40. [ver. 9]
  • 41. Deuteronomy 21:15
  • 42. [Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 62:4]
  • 43. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 44. Proverbs 6:6-8
  • 45. Leviticus 11:5; Psalms 104:18
  • 46. [Proverbs 6:7]
  • 47. [Joel 2:7, 8, 25]
  • 48. ver. 15, 18, 21; [Proverbs 6:16]
  • 49. ver. 15, 18, 21; [Proverbs 6:16]
  • 50. [Job 39:22]
  • 51. [Job 40:16]
  • 52. Micah 7:16; See Job 21:5

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Or Jakeh, the man of Massa
  • [b]. Revocalization; Hebrew The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal
  • [c]. Hebrew There is a generation; also verses 12, 13, 14
  • [d]. Or "Give, give," they cry
  • [e]. Or the magpie, or the greyhound; Hebrew girt-of-loins
  • [f]. Or against whom there is no rising up

Chapter Summary


This chapter begins with a prophecy of Elijah, that there should be want of rain for some years to come, and he is directed to go first to the brook Cherith, where he should be fed by ravens, 1Ki 17:1-7, and afterwards he is sent to a widow at Zarephath, where he, she, and her son, were supported for a considerable time with a handful of meal, and a little oil in a cruse miraculously increased, 1Ki 17:8-16, whose son falling sick and dying, he restored to life, 1Ki 17:17-24.

Proverbs 30 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.