|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
IntraText - Text
1 2 The words of Agur, son of Jakeh the Massaite: The pronouncement of mortal man: "I am not God; I am not God, that I should prevail.
Why, I am the most stupid of men, and have not even human intelligence;
Neither have I learned wisdom, nor have I the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down again - who has cupped the wind in his hands? Who has bound up the waters in a cloak - who has marked out all the ends of the earth? What is his name, what is his son's name, if you know it?"
Every word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be exposed as a deceiver.
Two things I ask of you, deny them not to me before I die:
Put falsehood and lying far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; (provide me only with the food I need;)
Lest, being full, I deny you, saying, "Who is the LORD?" Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God.
Slander not a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you have to pay the penalty.
3 There is a group of people that curses its father, and blesses not its mother.
There is a group that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not purged of its filth.
There is a group - how haughty their eyes! how overbearing their glance!
There is a group whose incisors are swords, whose teeth are knives, Devouring the needy from the earth, and the poor from among men.
4 The two daughters of the leech are, "Give, Give." Three things are never satisfied, four never say, "Enough!"
The nether world, and the barren womb; the earth, that is never saturated with water, and fire, that never says, "Enough!"
The eye that mocks a father, or scorns an aged mother, Will be plucked out by the ravens in the valley; the young eagles will devour it.
5 Three things are too wonderful for me, yes, four I cannot understand:
The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a rock, The way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.
6 Such is the way of an adulterous woman: she eats, wipes her mouth, and says, "I have done no wrong."
Under three things the earth trembles, yes, under four it cannot bear up:
Under a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is glutted with food;
Under an odious woman when she is wed, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
Four things are among the smallest on the earth, and yet are exceedingly wise:
Ants - a species not strong, yet they store up their food in the summer;
7 Rock-badgers - a species not mighty, yet they make their home in the crags;
Locusts - they have no king, yet they migrate all in array;
Lizards - you can catch them with your hands, yet they find their way into king's palaces.
Three things are stately in their stride, yes, four are stately in their carriage:
The lion, mightiest of beasts, who retreats before nothing;
The strutting cock, and the he-goat, and the king at the head of his people.
8 If you have foolishly been proud or presumptuous - put your hand on your mouth;
For the stirring of milk brings forth curds, and the stirring of anger brings forth blood.