THE BOOK OF PROVERBS #12
Wisdom of Agur
The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel—to Ithiel and Ucal:
2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man.
3 I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One [Showing HUMILITY - Keith Hunt]
4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?
From the New KJV Study Bible
30:1-33 The wise words of Agur, who is unknown outside of v. 1
30:2,3 A humble, but rhetorical denial of wisdom by Agur sets the scene for his display of wisdom, a fairly common practice in wisdom literature of the ancient world.
30:4 No one is able to define the unsearchable God. Son is capitalized because it refers to deity: the Son of God.
4 Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know? [AH some knew GOD had or would have One called “SON” - ALREADY EXISTING but would become known as “the Son of God” - Keith Hunt]
5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him [And Jesus said, “Thy word is truth” (John 17). It is pure, it is truth, it is righteousness, it is prophetic, it is holy; and God is the shield of strength to those who trust in Him; we know from Hebrews 11, some may die for their faith in the Eternal God, but their spirit is protected in heaven (Ecc. 12:9) until the glorious day of the resurrection of the saints at the coming of Christ - Keith Hunt]
6 Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar [We are told this again….do not add, do not take away, (Rev. 22:17-19). It means that God’s word which is truth must be the benchmark of our theology. Many down through the centuries have either taken away from God’s word (where did Sunday observance come from; where did Christmass come from; where did Easter come from; why did Christendom take away all the Feasts of the Lord, but Pentecost (some observe it still in the Catholic and Protestant worlds)….. there has been much taking away and adding…. the Christian world will one day be judged for so doing, they will fall under the destruction and plagues of the book of Revelation - Keith Hunt]
7 Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die):
8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me;
9 Lest I be full and deny You, and say, "Who is the Lord?" Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.
[Pure truth is to be desired - a hunger and thirst for righteousness as Jesus taught (Mat. 5); in-between poverty and riches, the middle ground is probably the best place to be for most of us; too much of the physical can be a snare to trust in riches and put God to one side; being too poor can lead to stealing or other wrong ways to obtain riches. NOTICE - there is more than one way to profane the name of God….. stealing is said to be one of those ways. Names mean something - the name of God covers all righteousness; doing anything that is not righteousness is profaning God’s name - Keith Hunt]
10 Do not malign a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be found guilty [Obviously this is maligning falsely, making up stories of detriment, slandering; we could say he is trying to put a curse on a servant to his master, the curse could well come back on the one maligning, and a guilty verdict be pronounced….. it is - your sin shall find you out - Keith Hunt]
11 There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother
12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness.
13 There is a generation— oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up.
14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
[There are many types of sinning groups of people in any generation; for some it is loving father and not loving mother - we do also have it the other way around; we have those who are pure unto themselves, they set their own values which are often just plain filthiness; you have those who are vain and filled with human pride and ego, they lift up the eyes, there’s no humility in them; and you have the big mouth people spewing out cutting words, and their fangs (putting it in drama prose) are like sharp knives to devour, especially do they take advantage of the poor and needy. Sadly all the above exist in all generations - Keith Hunt]
15 The leech has two daughters—Give and Give! There are three things that are never satisfied, Four never say, "Enough!":
16 The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water— And the fire never says, "Enough!"
[For now we have death; for now we have some that cannot “be with child”; the dry scorching earth in drought; the fire that often results from a dry earth. One day all these things will be in the past - they will be gone; there is coming a new age where there will be no “barren” - no “dry earth” - no “devastating fires” - and then a new earth and heaven where there will be no death - so it is promised and so it shall come to pass - Keith Hunt]
17 The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it [This is a descriptive way of saying if you do not obey the commandment to honour your father and mother, you face your human eye of sin to be plucked out; you break this commandment and death for eternity will be yours - Keith Hunt]
18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yes, four which I do not understand:
19 The way of an eagle in the air; The way of a serpent on a rock; The way of a ship in the midst of the sea; And the way of a man with a virgin.
[They are all wondrous things; the eagle in the air so majestic and so powerful; how does a snake move across a smooth rock, it is unreal; the ship so small in the midst of a huge sea, it also is wondrous; and the sensational touch and feeling in a man making love to his bride, when both he and she are virgins. How could evolution devise such wonderful things; and we could meditate on many many more wonders - Keith Hunt]
20 This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, "I have done no wickedness." [Sin of any type can deceive us; our mind can justify sins pretty quickly at times; only the word and truths of God, can keep our mind and heart on the straight and narrow pathway that leads to the Holy Creator of what is pure and righteous - Keith Hunt]
The New KJV Study Bible
30:5,6 Agur has some knowledge about God: He protects His own people (v. 5), and His words are unchangeable v6).
30:7-9 neither poverty nor riches: An amazing understanding of material blessings—that he be allotted his portion, but no more. More leads to pride; less leads to theft.
30:11-14 Generation here represents a class of people with certain corrupt characteristics. There are such people, now as well as then, who display four, evils: Disrespectful to parents (v. 11), self-righteous (v. 12), proud (v. 13), ruthless (v. 14).
30:15,16 The leech which is never satisfied symbolizes the grave, the barren womb, dry earth, and fire. The grave is the focal point of these proverbs. We all will die.
30:18,19 The writer marvels at natural activities which have a beauty and a grace beyond rational explanation, three... Yes, four… A Semitic expression for completeness (see also Amos 1:3).
30:20 Opposed to the beauty of first love (v. 19) is the brazenness of adultery which insists that its destructive way is not wrong.
21 For three things the earth is perturbed, yes, for four it cannot bear up:
22 For a servant when he reigns; A fool when he is filled with food,
23 A hateful woman when she is married; A maidservant who succeeds her mistress.
[I’m sure there are lots more, but four we’re given. A servant is not usually taught the things of Government, or the skills of whatever he is a servant in; it would be like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. A fool is bad enough a fool at ordinary times, get him at a party and full of food and drink and watch out, his foolishness explodes. A woman with a hateful mind is no pleasure to live with, she would have to mend her way in marriage or the man is in for an unpleasant time. A maidservant again is not trained to be a mistress or CEO over an estate or business, she would find it very difficult unless supported by a number of other well trained personnel - Keith Hunt]
24 There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise:
25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer;
26 The rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags;
27 The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks;
28 The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings' palaces.
[Again many more things are wise also, here we are four given. The ants are wise to prepare their store of food for the winter, during summer when it’s readily available. The crags in the rocks make for a good impenetrable home for those who can use them like the rock badger. The locust have no one leading but they group together at times to blot out the rays of the sun. The spider is skillful to weave its web, and can live in any house including king’s palaces.
Lessons from these four can be many: Look ahead and prepare, save something for a rainy day as they say. When settling down in a home make sure it is strong, and built where there are no regular floods, earth slides, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes; I have to shake my head at why so many people still live in the so-called “Tornado alley” in the USA. It is good to have friends that can help you march along with something that is better done with more heads than one. Learn to be circumspect, heedful, vigilant, alert, attentive, watchful, and you might be present in king’s company one day - Keith Hunt]
29 There are three things which are majestic in pace, yes, four which are stately in walk:
30 A lion, which is mighty among beasts and does not turn away from any
31 A greyhound; A male goat also; And a king whose troops are with him.
[The lion called the “king of the jungle” - he looks strong and stately, of the beasts his size he is king, and stands his ground. A greyhound is nice natured but fast when he needs to be, and walks in a soft stately manner. A male goat has that majestic look as he walks. A king leading a balanced well trained formation of soldiers takes your breath away as you view the scene.
So in our human lives there are times when we in character need to be like the four mentioned above; even our outward body disposition may have to take on the four characteristics of the above in different situations - Keith Hunt]
32 If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth [Shut up….. stop your ways, become humble; putting foolish exalting and devising evil, as coming out of you via your mouth, get your hand on your mouth and stop it, do not let either come forth from you - Keith Hunt]
33 For as the churning of milk produces butter, and wringing the nose produces blood, So the forcing of wrath produces strife [If you are going to force wrath from yourself without a good cause, know that sooner or later it will come back on you in strife; it will eventually cause others to be at strife with you; you will have few friends if any, who will put up with your wrathful character - Keith Hunt]
From the New KJV Study Bible
30:21-23 Here are four situations in which appropriate consequences did not follow: A servant should serve; a fool should starve; a shrew should be barren; and a serving girl should not marry her lord. Events like these lead simpletons to believe they too can escape consequences.
30:24-28 The stress is on the mysterious wisdom and orderliness found in the Creator's work.30:29-31 The orderliness of God's creation continues (see vv. 24-28) to amaze the writer. We cannot fully understand the creation, as we cannot fully comprehend the Creator (see vv. 4-6).
30:32, 33 In response to the wonders of vv. 4-31, the only appropriate posture is humility: put your hand on your mouth (see Job 21:5).
TO BE CONTINUED