1The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh, of Massa. Prophecy of this man for Ithiel, for Ithiel and for Ucal. 2I am myself the stupidest of people, bereft of human intel igence, 3I have not learnt wisdom, and I lack the knowledge of the holy ones. 4Who has mounted to the heavens, then come down again? Who has gathered the wind in the clasp ofhis hand? Who has wrapped the waters in his cloak? Who has set al the ends of the earth firm? What is hisname? What is his child's name? Do you know? 5Every word of God is unal oyed, a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6To his words make no addition, lest he reprove you and account you a liar. 7Two things I beg of you, do not grudge me them before I die: 8keep falsehood and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share offood, 9for fear that, surrounded by plenty, I should fall away and say, 'Yahweh-who is Yahweh?' or else, in destitution, take to stealing and profane the name of my God. 10Do not blacken a slave's name to his master, lest he curse you, and you suffer for it. 11There is a breed of person that curses his father and does not bless his mother; 12a breed that, laying claim to purity, has not yet been cleansed of its filth; 13a breed haughty of eye, with disdain in every glance; 14a breed with swords for teeth, with knives for jaws, devouring the oppressed from the earth and theneedy from the land. 15The leech has two daughters: 'Give! Give!' There are three insatiable things, four, indeed, that neversay, 'Enough!' 16Sheol, the barren womb, earth which can never have its fil of water, fire which never says, 'Enough!' 17The eye which looks jeeringly on a father, and scorns the obedience due to a mother, wil be peckedout by the ravens of the val ey, and eaten by the vultures. 18There are three things beyond my comprehension, four, indeed, that I do not understand: 19the way of an eagle through the skies, the way of a snake over the rock, the way of a ship in mid-ocean, the way of a man with a girl. 20This is how an adulteress behaves: she eats, then wipes her mouth and says, 'I have done nothingwrong!' 21There are three things at which the earth trembles, four, indeed, which it cannot endure: 22a slave become king, a brute gorged with food, 23a hateful woman wed at last, a servant girl inheriting from her mistress. 24There are four creatures little on the earth, though they are wisest of the wise: 25ants, a race with no strength, yet in the summer they make sure of their food; 26the coneys, a race without defences, yet they make their home in the rocks; 27locusts, which have no king, yet they al march in good order; 28lizards, which you can catch in your hand, yet they frequent the palaces of kings. 29There are three things of stately tread, four, indeed, of stately walk: 30the lion, bravest of beasts, he wil draw back from nothing; 31a vigorous cock, a he-goat, and the king when he harangues his people. 32If you have been foolish enough to fly into a passion and now have second thoughts, lay your handon your lips. 33For by churning the milk you produce butter, by wringing the nose you produce blood, and bywhipping up anger you produce strife.
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