Proverbs 30

Listen to Proverbs 30
1 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God.
2 I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense.
3 I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.
4 Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!
5 Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
6 Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
7 O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.
8 First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
9 For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD ?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
10 Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.
11 Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother.
12 They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed.
13 They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances.
14 They have teeth like swords and fangs like knives. They devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among humanity.
15 The leech has two suckers that cry out, “More, more!” There are three things that are never satisfied— no, four that never say, “Enough!”:
16 the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire.
17 The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.
18 There are three things that amaze me— no, four things that I don’t understand:
19 how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.
20 An adulterous woman consumes a man, then wipes her mouth and says, “What’s wrong with that?”
21 There are three things that make the earth tremble— no, four it cannot endure:
22 a slave who becomes a king, an overbearing fool who prospers,
23 a bitter woman who finally gets a husband, a servant girl who supplants her mistress.
24 There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:
25 Ants—they aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer.
26 Hyraxes —they aren’t powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks.
27 Locusts—they have no king, but they march in formation.
28 Lizards—they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings’ palaces.
29 There are three things that walk with stately stride— no, four that strut about:
30 the lion, king of animals, who won’t turn aside for anything,
31 the strutting rooster, the male goat, a king as he leads his army.
32 If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, cover your mouth in shame.
33 As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding, so stirring up anger causes quarrels.

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.

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Or son of Jakeh from Massa; or son of Jakeh, an oracle.
  • [b]. The Hebrew can also be translated The man declares this to Ithiel, / to Ithiel and to Ucal.
  • [c]. Hebrew two daughters who cry out, “Give, give!”
  • [d]. Hebrew Sheol.
  • [e]. Or Coneys, or Rock badgers.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 17

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