Proverbs 30


‘The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance. This man’s utterance to Ithiel: ‘I am weary, God, but I can prevail.’ Proverbs 30:1

Proverbs Of Agur

We know nothing about Agur except what is recorded in this prayer, where he asked for deliverance from economic extremes, Proverbs 30:1 / Proverbs 30:8-9.

Agur is presumed to be a wise man of some reputation but of unknown date. We know that whatever he was going through, he was struggling but his trust was in God to help him prevail.

‘Surely, I am only a brute, not a man; I do not have human understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One. Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is the name of his son? Surely you know!’ Proverbs 30:2-4

God and His ways are always a mystery to men. Agur shows his wisdom by confessing his ignorance. He appears to use sarcasm here because he knows that no one knows the answers to these questions except God Himself.

‘Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.’ Proverbs 30:5-6

Once again, we’re reminded that God’s word doesn’t need adjusting, it doesn’t need words taken from it or added to, Deuteronomy 4:2 / Revelation 22:18-19 / 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

‘Two things I ask of you, LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God.’ Proverbs 30:7-8

Truthfulness should always come out of our lips. Too much money can be as dangerous as having not enough. Too much money may lead to us disowning God and self-reliance, 1 Chronicles 4:10 and not enough money may lead to us stealing to survive and dishonouring God.

We need to trust God on a daily basis to take care of our daily needs, Lamentations 3:22-23 / Matthew 6:11 / Matthew 6:25-34.

‘Do not slander a servant to their master, or they will curse you, and you will pay for it. ‘There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers; those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth; those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful; those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among mankind.’ Proverbs 30:10-14

These are people with no respect for anyone. The blood-sucking horse-leech was common in Palestine and the people described here were just like them. However, this also reveals a common human problem, which is greed.

‘The leech has two daughters. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry. ‘There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’: the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’ ‘The eye that mocks a father, that scorns an aged mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.’ Proverbs 30:15-17

These are people who are never satisfied with anything they have. Those who say, ‘give, give’ are those who are always asking for favours. The eye that mocks, scorns, this is a sneering, scornful, defiant look of rebellion. Such a person will be denied a burial and their body left for the vultures birds to eat.

‘There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman.’ Proverbs 30:18-19

The eagle is a reference to its graceful flight. The serpent is without legs, yet it still moves. The way of a ship means to stay afloat. The way of a man in the process of courtship. Each reaches its objectives in wonderful and sometimes mysterious ways. Each one has to navigate difficult situations including the presence of a young girl.

‘This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’ Proverbs 30:20

This is a description of the person who acts like an adulterous woman. They are unconcerned and claim innocence, she regards sexual intercourse as casually as eating a meal; she is totally unconcerned about her conduct.

‘Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: a servant who becomes king, a godless fool who gets plenty to eat, a contemptible woman who gets married, and a servant who displaces her mistress.’ Proverbs 30:21-23

This is dealing with the imbalances which occur in society with intolerable consequences. Some believe these are sarcastic and not to be taken seriously. The reference to the unloved woman possibly refers to her as unloved because she was unattractive and unpopular. When she gets a husband, she appears to become arrogant.

‘Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer; hyraxes are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags; locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks; a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.’ Proverbs 30:24-28

The focus in these verses isn’t for scientific purposes, but to observe the lessons relevant to human life. Each is small but yet great, these tiny creatures demonstrate great wisdom! Notice each line begins with a limitation which each, in turn, overcomes.

The ants are used in reference to preparation. The hyraxes are used in reference to building. The locusts are used in reference to co-operation and order. The lizards are used in reference to fearlessness. These creatures are skilful and resourceful to gain security. They are organised and disciplined, not dependent on external forces to make them work.

Each of these, in its own way, set forth a positive example of leadership. In other words, the lesson here is that foresight and planning are needed to meet our future needs.

‘There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing: a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing; a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king secure against revolt. ‘If you play the fool and exalt yourself, or if you plan evil, clap your hand over your mouth!’ Proverbs 30:29-32

This chapter closes with another warning to the person who has allowed themselves or will soon allow themselves, to become proud and over-confident.

‘For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.’ Proverbs 30:33

Agur is simply saying, we need to shut up or someone will give you a bloody nose. The point is simply this, do not provoke others because it will result in serious trouble and conflict.

‘Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.’ Proverbs 27:3

Go To Proverbs 31


"That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."