The Sayings of Agur

30 These sayings are the words of Agur, son of Jakeh. He spoke them as if they came from God.

He spoke them to Ithiel

and to Ucal.

2 He said, “I know less than anyone.

I don’t understand as other men do.

3 I haven’t learned wisdom.

And I don’t know the Holy One.

4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down?

Who has gathered up the wind in the palms of his hands?

Who has wrapped up the waters in his coat?

Who has set all the boundaries of the earth in place?

What is his name? What is his son’s name?

Tell me if you know!

5 “Every word of God is perfect.

He is like a shield to those who trust in him.

He keeps them safe.

6 Don’t add to his words.

If you do, he will correct you.

He will prove that you are a liar.

7Lord, I ask you for two things.

Don’t refuse me before I die.

8 Keep lies far away from me.

Don’t make me either poor or rich,

but give me only the bread I need each day.

9 If you don’t, I might have too much.

Then I might say I don’t know you.

I might say, ‘Who is the Lord?’

Or I might become poor and steal.

Then I would bring shame to the name of my God.

10 “Don’t tell lies about a servant when you talk to his master.

If you do, he will call down curses on you. And you will pay for it.

11 “Some people call down curses on their fathers.

Others don’t bless their mothers.

12 Some are pure in their own eyes.

But their dirty sins haven’t been washed away.

13 Some have eyes that are very proud.

They look down on others.

14 Some people have teeth like swords.

The teeth in their jaws are as sharp as knives.

They are ready to eat up the poor people of the earth.

They are ready to eat up those who are the most needy.

15 “A bloodsucking worm has two daughters.

They cry out, ‘Give! Give!’

“Three things are never satisfied.

Four things never say, ‘Enough!’

16 The first is the grave.

The second is a woman who can’t have a baby.

The third is land. It never gets enough water.

And the fourth is fire. It never says, ‘Enough!’

17 “Some make fun of their fathers.

Others laugh about obeying their mothers.

The ravens of the valley will peck their eyes out.

Then the vultures will eat them.

18 “Three things are too amazing for me.

There are four things I don’t understand.

19 The first is the way of an eagle in the sky.

The second is the way of a snake on a rock.

The third is the way of a ship on the ocean.

And the fourth is the way of a man with a young woman.

20 “This is the way of a woman who commits adultery.

She eats. She wipes her mouth.

Then she says, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong.’

21 “Under three things the earth shakes.

Under four things it can’t stand up.

22 The first is a servant who becomes a king.

The second is a foolish person who is full of food.

23 The third is a woman who is married but not loved by her husband.

And the fourth is a woman servant who takes the place of the woman she works for.

24 “Four things on earth are small.

But they are very wise.

25 The first are ants. They aren’t very strong.

But they store up their food in the summer.

26 The second are rock badgers. They aren’t very powerful.

But they make their home among the rocks.

27 The third are locusts. They don’t have a king.

But they all march forward in ranks.

28 And the fourth are lizards. Your hand can catch them.

But you will find them in kings’ palaces.

29 “Three things walk as if they were kings.

Four things move as kings do.

30 The first is a lion. It is mighty among the animals.

It doesn’t back away from anything.

31 The second is a rooster that walks proudly.

The third is a billy goat.

And the fourth is a king who has his army around him.

32 “Have you been foolish?

Have you thought you were better than others?

Have you planned evil?

If you have, put your hand over your mouth and stop talking!

33 If you churn cream, you will produce butter.

If you twist a nose, you will produce blood.

And if you stir up anger, you will produce a fight.”


About New International Reader’s Version (1998)

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.


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