1 These sayings are the words of Agur, son of Jakeh. He spoke them as if they came from God. He spoke them to Ithiel and to Ucal. 2 He said, "I know less than anyone. I don't understand as other men do. 3 I haven't learned wisdom. And I don't know the Holy One. 4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the palms of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his coat? Who has set all the boundaries of the earth in place? What is his name? What is his son's name? Tell me if you know! 5 "Every word of God is perfect. He is like a shield to those who trust in him. He keeps them safe. 6 Don't add to his words. If you do, he will correct you. He will prove that you are a liar. 7 "Lord, I ask you for two things. Don't refuse me before I die. 8 Keep lies far away from me. Don't make me either poor or rich, but give me only the bread I need each day. 9 If you don't, I might have too much. Then I might say I don't know you. I might say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or I might become poor and steal. Then I would bring shame to the name of my God. 10 "Don't tell lies about a servant when you talk to his master. If you do, he will call down curses on you. And you will pay for it. 11 "Some people call down curses on their fathers. Others don't bless their mothers. 12 Some are pure in their own eyes. But their dirty sins haven't been washed away. 13 Some have eyes that are very proud. They look down on others. 14 Some people have teeth like swords. The teeth in their jaws are as sharp as knives. They are ready to eat up the poor people of the earth. They are ready to eat up those who are the most needy. 15 "A bloodsucking worm has two daughters. They cry out, 'Give! Give!' "Three things are never satisfied. Four things never say, 'Enough!' 16 The first is the grave. The second is a woman who can't have a baby. The third is land. It never gets enough water. And the fourth is fire. It never says, 'Enough!' 17 "Some make fun of their fathers. Others laugh about obeying their mothers. The ravens of the valley will peck their eyes out. Then the vultures will eat them. 18 "Three things are too amazing for me. There are four things I don't understand. 19 The first is the way of an eagle in the sky. The second is the way of a snake on a rock. The third is the way of a ship on the ocean. And the fourth is the way of a man with a young woman. 20 "This is the way of a woman who commits adultery. She eats. She wipes her mouth. Then she says, 'I haven't done anything wrong.' 21 "Under three things the earth shakes. Under four things it can't stand up. 22 The first is a servant who becomes a king. The second is a foolish person who is full of food. 23 The third is a woman who is married but not loved by her husband. And the fourth is a woman servant who takes the place of the woman she works for. 24 "Four things on earth are small. But they are very wise. 25 The first are ants. They aren't very strong. But they store up their food in the summer. 26 The second are rock badgers. They aren't very powerful. But they make their home among the rocks. 27 The third are locusts. They don't have a king. But they all march forward in ranks. 28 And the fourth are lizards. Your hand can catch them. But you will find them in kings' palaces. 29 "Three things walk as if they were kings. Four things move as kings do. 30 The first is a lion. It is mighty among the animals. It doesn't back away from anything. 31 The second is a rooster that walks proudly. The third is a billy goat. And the fourth is a king who has his army around him. 32 "Have you been foolish? Have you thought you were better than others? Have you planned evil? If you have, put your hand over your mouth and stop talking! 33 If you churn cream, you will produce butter. If you twist a nose, you will produce blood. And if you stir up anger, you will produce a fight."
1 These are the sayings of King Lemuel. His mother taught them to him. She spoke them as if they came from God. 2 She said, "My son! My very own son! The son I prayed for! 3 Don't waste your strength on women. Don't waste it on those who destroy kings. 4 "Lemuel, it isn't good for kings to drink wine. It isn't good for rulers to long for beer. 5 If they do, they might drink and forget what the law commands. They might take away the rights of all those who are beaten down. 6 Give beer to those who are dying. Give wine to those who are sad and troubled. 7 Let them drink and forget how poor they are. Let them forget their suffering. 8 "Speak up for those who can't speak for themselves. Speak up for the rights of all those who are poor. 9 Speak up and judge fairly. Speak up for the rights of those who are poor and needy." 10 Who can find a noble wife? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband trusts her completely. She gives him all the important things he needs. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She chooses wool and flax. She loves to work with her hands. 14 She is like the ships of traders. She brings her food from far away. 15 She gets up while it is still dark. She provides food for her family. She also gives some to her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it. She uses some of the money she earns to plant a vineyard. 17 She gets ready to work hard. Her arms are strong. 18 She sees that her trading earns a lot of money. Her lamp doesn't go out at night. 19 With one hand she holds the wool. With the other she spins the thread. 20 She opens her arms to those who are poor. She reaches out her hands to those who are needy. 21 When it snows, she's not afraid for her family. All of them are dressed in the finest clothes. 22 She makes her own bed coverings. She is dressed in fine linen and purple clothes. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate. There he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen clothes and sells them. She supplies belts to the traders. 25 She puts on strength and honor as if they were her clothes. She can laugh at the days that are coming. 26 She speaks wisely. She teaches faithfully. 27 She watches over family matters. She is busy all the time. 28 Her children stand up and call her blessed. Her husband also rises up, and he praises her. 29 He says, "Many women do noble things. But you are better than all the others." 30 Charm can fool you. Beauty fades. But a woman who has respect for the LORD should be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned. Let everything she has done bring praise to her at the city gate.