1 The words of Agur, son of Yakeh, the Massaite.
The inspired utterance of the man for Ithiel,
for Ithiel and Ucal.
2 Surely I am more stupid than anyone,
and I do not have the understanding of a man.
3 And I did not learn wisdom,
nor do I know the knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has ascended into heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind into the palms of both hands?
Who has bound up the waters into his garment?
Who has set up all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
Surely you know!
5 Every utterance of God is tested;
he is a shield for those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words lest he reproves you,
and you will be found to be a liar.
7 Two things I ask from you,
do not withhold these from me before I die:
8 remove deceitfulness and false speech far from me;
give me neither poverty nor wealth;
provide to me my portion of bread.
9 Lest I become satisfied and deny you and say,
“Who is Yahweh?”
Or lest I become impoverished and steal
and desecrate the name of my God.
10 Do not slander a servant to his lord,
lest he curse you and you will be held guilty.
11 There is a generation that curses its father
and that does not bless its mother.
12 A generation that is pure in its own eyes
but has not been washed from its excrement.
13 A generation—how haughty are its eyes,
and how high its eyelids are lifted up!
14 A generation whose teeth are swords
and fangs are knives,
to devour the poor from the land
and the needy from humankind.
15 Two daughters belong to the leech;
There are three things that will never be satisfied,
four that will never say, “Enough!”
16 Sheol and the barren womb;
land that is never satisfied with water;
and fire never says, “Enough!”
17 An eye that mocks at his father
and despisesa obedience to his mother—
ravens of the valley will peck it out,
and the offspring of a vulture will eat it.
18 These three things are difficult for me,
and four that I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the heavens,
the way of a serpent upon a rock,
the way of a ship in the heart of the sea,
and the way of a man with a young woman.
20 This is the road of the woman who commits adultery:
she eats and wipes her mouth,
and says, “I have not committed any wickedness.”
21 The land quakes under three things,
and under four it cannot bear up:
22 under a slave when he becomes king,
and a godless person when he is satisfied with food,
23 under a hated woman when she gets married,
and a slave-girl when she displaces her mistress.
24 These four things are small on the earth,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 the ants are a clan who are not mighty,
but they prepare their food in the summer;
26 the rock-badgers are a clan who are not mighty,
yet they make their dwellings in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no king,
yet they all go out organized in ranks;
28 you can grab a lizard with the hands,
yet it lives in the king’s palaces.
29 These three are confident as they step,
and four are confident as they walk:
30 the lion is mighty among the beasts
and it does not retreat in the face of anything;
31 the strutting rooster, also the male goat,
and a king when his band of soldiers is with him.
32 If you acted foolishly by exalting yourself,
or if you have considered it, put your hand over your mouth.
33 For the churning of milk brings forth butter,
and the churning of the nose brings forth blood,
so the churning of anger brings forth strife.