30 The words of Agur, son of Jakeh, [even] the oracle,—The utterance of the man for Ithiel, For Ithiel and Ucal.
2 Surely more brutish am I than any man, Nor doth the understanding of a son of earth pertain to me;
3 Neither have I learned wisdom, Nor the knowledge of the Holy Ones can I acquire.
4 Who hath ascended the heavens and then descended? Who hath gathered the wind into his two hands? Who hath wrapped up the waters in a mantle? Who hath set up all the ends of the earth? What is his name and what the name of his son, when thou knowest?
5 Every saying of God is refined, A shield is he to them who seek refuge in him.
6 Do not add unto his words, Lest he convict thee and thou be found false.
7 Two things have I asked of thee, Withhold them not from me ere yet I die:
8 Vanity and falsehood remove far from me, Neither poverty nor riches give me, Feed me with the food appointed me:
9 Lest I be full and deny And say—Who is Yahweh? Or lest I be impoverished and steal, And do violence to the Name of my God.
10 Do not slander a servant to his master, Lest he revile thee and thou be found guilty.
11 A generation! Its father it revileth, And its mother it doth not bless.
12 A generation! Pure in its own eyes, Yet from its filth hath it not been bathed,
13 A generation! How lofty are its eyes, And its eyelashes uplifted.
14 A generation! Swords are its teeth, And knives its incisors,—To devour the humbled out of the earth, And the needy from among men.
15 The vampire hath two daughters, Give! Give! Three there are will not be satisfied, Four have not said, Enough!
16 Hades And barrenness,—A land not satisfied with water, And fire that saith not, Enough!
17 The eye That mocketh a father, And despiseth to obey a mother The ravens of the valley shall pick it out, And the young of the eagle shall eat it.
18 Three things there are too difficult for me, Yea four which I do not understand:
19 The way of an eagle in the heavens, The way of a serpent on the rock,—The way of a ship in the heart of the sea, And the way of a man with a maid.
20 So is the way of a woman committing adultery,—She eateth and wipeth her mouth, And saith, I have done no iniquity!
21 Under three things a land is stirred, Yea under four she cannot bear up:
22 Under a servant when he reigneth, And a base man, when he is surfeited with food;
23 Under a hateful woman when she is married, And a handmaid when she driveth out her mistress.
24 Four things there are the small of the earth,—Yet they are wiser than the wise:
25 The ants, a people not strong,—Yet prepare they, in summer their food;
26 The conies, a people of no power, Yet set they among the crags their house;
27 King is there none to the locusts,—Yet go forth in swarms do they all;
28 The lizard with hands reneweth its hold,—Yet the same is in the palaces of the king.
29 Three things there are which step along well, Yea four which excel in going:
30 The lion, hero among beasts, Which turneth aside from the face of no one;
31 The greyhound or the he-goat,—And a king having a band of soldiers with him.
32 If thou hast acted basely by lifting thyself up,—If thou hast plotted evil [put thy] hand to [thy] mouth!
33 Surely the pressing of milk bringeth forth curd, And the pressing of the nose bringeth forth blood, And the pressing of wrath bringeth forth strife.