The Bible in Its Traditions

Proverbs 30:1–33

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The words of Agur the son of Jakeh; the burden. The man saith unto Ithiel, unto Ithiel and Ucal

These things says the man to them that trust in God; and I cease.

The words of the Gatherer, the son of the Vomiter. The vision that the man spoke. God is with him, and he, being strengthened by God and abiding with him, said

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Surely I am brutish, unlike a man, and have not the understanding of a man;

For I am the most simple of all men, and there is not in me the wisdom of men.

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And I have not learned wisdom, that I should have the knowledge of the Holy One.

God has taught me wisdom, and I know the knowledge of the holy.

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Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest?

Who has gone up to heaven, and come down? who has gathered the winds in his bosom? who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? who has dominion of all the ends of the earth? what is his name? or what is the name of his children?

Tell me, Who has ascended up into heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in a handkerchief? Who has established all the borders of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if you can tell?

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Every word of God is tried; He is a shield unto them that take refuge in Him.

For all the words of God are tried in the fire, and he defends those that reverence him.

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Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Do not add anything to his words, lest you be reproved and be discovered to be a liar.

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Two things have I asked of Thee; deny me them not before I die

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Remove far from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with mine allotted bread;

Remove far from me vanity and falsehood: and give me not wealth or poverty; but appoint me what is needful and sufficient

Remove, far from me, vanity and lying words. Give me neither begging, nor wealth. Apportion to me only the necessities of my life,

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Lest I be full, and deny, and say: 'Who is YHWH?' Or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.

lest perhaps, being filled, I might be enticed into denial, and say: ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or, being compelled by destitution, I might steal, and then perjure myself in the name of my God.

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

10  Do not accuse a servant to his lord, lest he curse you, and you fall.

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11  There is a generation that curse their father, and do not bless their mother.

11  A wicked generation curse their father, and do not bless their mother.

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

12  A wicked generation judge themselves to be just, but do not cleanse their way.

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

13  A wicked generation have lofty eyes, and exalt themselves with their eyelids.

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

14  A wicked generation have swords for teeth and jaw-teeth as knives, so as to destroy and devour the lowly from the earth, and the poor of them from among men.

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15  The horseleech hath two daughters: 'Give, give.' There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four that say not: 'Enough'

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16  The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not satisfied with water; and the fire that saith not: 'Enough.'

16  Hell, and the mouth of the womb, and a land that is not filled with water. And truly, fire never says, ‘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 vultures shall eat it.

17  The eye of one who mocks his father and who despises the childbearing of his mother, let the ravens of the torrent tear it out, and let the sons of the eagles consume it.

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

18  Moreover there are three things impossible for me to comprehend, and the fourth I know not

18  Three things are difficult for me, and about a fourth, I am nearly ignorant

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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 young woman.

19  the track of a flying eagle; and the ways of a serpent on a rock; and the paths of a ship passing through the sea; and the ways of a man in youth.

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

20  Such is the way of an adulterous woman, who having washed herself from what she has done, says she has done nothing amiss.

20  Such is the way also of an adulterous woman, who eats, and wiping her mouth, says: “I have done no evil.”

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21  For three things the earth doth quake, and for four it cannot endure

21  By three thing the earth is troubled, and the fourth it cannot bear

21  Under three things the earth quakes, and under four it cannot endure

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22  For a servant when he reigneth; and a churl when he is filled with food;

22  if a servant reign; or a fool be filled with food;

22  by a slave when he reigns, by the foolish when he has been filled with food,

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

23  or if a maid-servant should cast out her own mistress; and if a hateful woman should marry a good man.

23  by a hateful woman when she has been taken in matrimony, and by a handmaid when she has been heir to her mistress.

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

24  And there are four very little things upon the earth, but these are wiser than the wise

24  Four things are least upon the earth, and they are wiser than the wise

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

25  the ants which are weak, and yet prepare their food in summer;

25  the ants, an infirm people who provide food for themselves at the harvest,

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26  The rock-badgers are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the crags;

26  the rabbits also are a feeble race, who make their houses in the rocks.

26  The conies who lack strength, and yet they make their houses in the rocks;

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

27  The locust has no king, but they all depart by their troops.

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28  The spider thou canst take with the hands, yet is she in kings' palaces.

28  And the eft, which supports itself by its hands, and is easily taken, dwells in the fortresses of kings.

28  The lizard supports itself on hands and dwells in the buildings of kings.

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29  There are three things which are stately in their march, yea, four which are stately in going

29  And there are three things which go well, and a fourth which passes along finely.

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30  The lion, which is mightiest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;

30  A lion’s whelp, stronger than all other beasts, which turns not away, nor fears any beast;

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31  The greyhound; the he-goat also; and the king, against whom there is no rising up.

31  and a cock walking in boldly among the hens, and the goat leading the herd; and a king publicly speaking before a nation.

31  a rooster prepared at the loins, likewise a ram, and a king, whom none can resist.

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32  If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast planned devices, lay thy hand upon thy mouth.

32  There is one who has appeared foolish, after he was lifted up on high; for if he had understood, he would have placed his hand over his mouth.

32  Covet not that you may not be reproached; do not feed yourself by things acquired wrongfully.

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33  For the churning of milk bringeth forth curd, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood; so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

33  Milk out milk, and there shall be butter, and if thou wing one’s nostrils there shall come out blood: so if thou extort words, there will come forth quarrels and strifes.

33  But whoever strongly squeezes the udder to bring out the milk, presses out butter. And whoever violently blows his nose, brings out blood. And whoever provokes wrath, brings forth discord.”