Proverbs 30

God’s Word is sure and pure, and venturing our souls upon it, we shall find it a shield against temptations, a safe protection in the midst of greatest dangers.
God will certainly reckon with any who presume to add to His Word, or advance anything in competition with it.

1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,

2 Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man.

3 I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.

4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?

5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:

8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

10 Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.

14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

15 The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:

16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.

17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

18 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

21 For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:

22 For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;

23 For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

24 There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;

26 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;

27 The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;

28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.

29 There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:

30 A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;

31 A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

32 If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.

33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

Proverbs 30:1-17 – ​The Advice of a Shrewd Observer

   This chapter contains a collection of sayings of one person, Agur, of whom we know nothing further. It is supposed that he lived after the return from the Exile. The opening verses of the chapter are the utterances of a man who has questions and thoughts Proverbs 30:1-4.
   Agur answers his complaint in Proverbs 30:5-9. You cannot know God by your own discovery, but He will make Himself known to you through the written Word, to which no addition may be made, Proverbs 30:6. See also John 1:18, which shows our clearest revelation of Him. But there are two conditions: We must put away vanity and lies; and we must be satisfied with God’s arrangement of our daily food. Notice the following quatrain, Proverbs 30:11-14, which is descriptive of four kinds of evil men: the unfilial, the self-righteous, the haughty, and the rapacious. The next quatrain, Proverbs 30:15-16, treats of “the insatiable;” and this is followed by a further description of the doom of the disobedient: strong, wise, shrewd, and sanctified sense. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Proverbs 30:8—Feed me with food convenient for me.

​   God knows what you need for the maintenance of physical life and strength. The body is more than meat, and to have given you this is a pledge that He will give you that. The body is the vehicle and organ of the soul; and since God has given such a wonderful instrument into your custody, He is bound as need arises to furnish needful supplies. He could not expect that you should do what He has arranged should be done in your life, without providing for the repair and maintenance of the wonderful machine through which alone your life-plan can be realized. Trust in his faithfulness. He cannot deny Himself.
   But there is other food which is needful. The daily bread of love, of hope, of holy thought, and fellowship. There is other hunger than that of the body. But this also will be provided, according as each day requires. If the human fails, the Divine will take its place, and God Himself will become the complement of your need. The Chinese Christians often put on the gravestones of their cemeteries the words, “They shall hunger no more,” in allusion to the idea of the Confucians that children must constantly be sending on supplies to maintain their ancestors. And may we not say, with unwavering certainty, of those who have learnt to be satisfied with God, “They shall hunger no more” (Revelation 7:16)?
   In God’s granaries there is our share of corn already calculated for and provided. Let us ask for and claim it. We have no wish to have more than our share, or to despoil others. As Jesus said, Give us each day the day’s supply. O happy child of the great Father, his hired servants have enough and to spare; there is plenty for thee! —Our Daily Homily

Proverbs 30:18-33 – ​Lessons from Common Things

   We have four more quatrains.
   1. There are the four wonders that baffle Agur’s understanding. How superficial is our knowledge! How does the eagle mount the air, or the serpent find a hold on the slippery rock, or a ship plow her way across the deep, or a man and woman fall in love by a secret interchange of heart which no one else perceives? And further how can a sinner continue to sin without experiencing remorse?
   2. There are four intolerable conditions: a slave in authority, a pampered fool, an ill-assorted marriage, and a slave-girl, like Hagar, preferred to her mistress.
   3. There are four kinds of animals which prove that it is possible to be insignificant and yet be wise: the ant, the cony, the locust, and the spider.
   4. There are four things which give the idea of stateliness in motion: a lion, a greyhound, a he-goat, and a king “against whom there is no rising up.” This remarkable collection ends with an exhortation to the repression of anger. Sometimes to refuse to express one’s passion is the surest way of killing it. Treat it like a room on fire. Shut door and window, that it may die for want of air. Ask God’s holy sunlight to replace the unholy heat of your soul. —Through the Bible Day by Day