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XXX. 2, 3 Surely I am more brutish than any man, &c. 1 neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy. Surely, I, Agur, am sufficiently conscious to mine own ignorance and unworthiness: of myself, I do, I can know nothing; and therefore am, as of myself, utterly unable to reach unto the great mysteries of salvation.
XXX. 4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell? Indeed, what man can do it? Alas, how poor and impotent creatures are we? Is there any of us able to ascend up into heaven, and to descend thence again; yea, have we power to command ought in these lower regions? Have we the rule of the winds, of the waters, of the earth? Shew me the man, that can or dare arrogate this power to himself?
XXX. 10 Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.
Offer no unjust measure to the meanest person: do not wrongfully accuse a servant to his master; lest, in the bitterness of his soul he curse thee, and God hearing him shall punish thy guiltiness.
XXX. 11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
There are four kinds of men, worthy of our avoidance and detestation: the first is of graceless children, who curse those parents, from whom they have received their life and being;
XXX. 12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
The next is of false hypocrites and self-pleasers, who think themselves holy and just, while yet they are full of wickedness;
XXX. 13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
The third is of proud men, who are exalted in their own opinions, and look scornfully over other men, perhaps better than themselves;
XXX. 14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, &c. The last is of cruel oppressors, which kill and devour the poor, &c. XXX. 15 The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:
The horseleach hath naturally a forked tongue; whereby she draweth blood insatiably of that part whereon soever it lights: answerable whereunto are three things, yea four, that still crave, and can never be satisfied:
XXX. 16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
The grave is not satisfied with carcasses, the incontinent womb is not satisfied with lust, the dry earth drinks up all the water that falls upon it, the fire devours all the combustible matter that it lays hold upon, and all of these call for more.
XXX. 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 eagles shall eat it.
That man, who is so lewd and unnatural, as to mock his father and to despise his mother, shall be sure to be seized upon by the just judgments of God: his very eyes, in whom that wicked and graceless scorn hath shewed itself, shall be picked out of his head, by the greediest and fiercest ravens, and the young eagles shall eat them certainly, God will find some means to be avenged of him. XXX. 19 The way of a man with a maid.
The close conveyances and subtle passages of a secret and crafty fornicator, with a cunning harlot.
XXX. 21 Four which it cannot bear, There are four things very intolerable.
XXX. 23 For an odious woman that is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.
A woman of lewd and odious qualities and conditions, which can neither be reformed nor endured by her husband; and a poor handmaid suddenly advanced to a rich estate, grown now insolent and imperious with her promotion,
XXX. 29 Yea, four are comely in going.
Yea four, which carry a good presence with them, and carry a kind of port and pleasure in their motion.
XXX. 31 An horse (as it is in the margin); an he goat; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.
A well shaped and beautiful horse proudly trampling; a fair and well-coloured he goat; and a magnificent prince, that is honoured and acclaimed of all his subjects.
XXX. 32 Lay thine hand upon thy mouth.
Yet, suppress it in thyself; and be not so foolish and wicked, as to
XXX. 33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.
As the agitation of the milk in the churn bringeth forth butter, and as the strong and vehement wringing of the nostrils, bringeth forth blood, so the earnest provocation of anger is the occasion of quarrels and much strife.
XXXI. 1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
The words, which king Solomon, whom his mother, in a style of love, termed Lemuel, received from that his mother in his younger years; and that divine counsel, which she gave him.
XXXI. 2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
What shall I then say unto thee, O thou my son, the dear son of my womb, the son of my desires, whom by my fervent prayers [ obtained from God, not without solemn vows of testifying my thankfulness for blessing me with thee?
XXXI. 3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
Suffer not thyself so to be besotted with the beauty of women, as that thou shouldest yield unto them the strength of thy body, and the best of thy thoughts; neither give thyself to those wanton courses, which have been the bane of many great princes.
XXXI. 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink.
It is not fit for kings, O Solomon, to give themselves to excessive or pleasurable drinking of wine, and to pouring in of strong intoxicating liquors.
XXXI. 6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish. Give rather strong drink to the man, that is dejected in spirits, and near to perishing, through extremity of affliction.
XXXI. 8 Open thou thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
Speak thou for them, that are not able to speak for themselves; and plead thou for them, who are undeservedly designed to de
XXXI. 10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Whosoever finds a wise, virtuous, modest wife, let him know how. to value her let him esteem her worth above all the precious ru bies and diamonds of the world.
XXXI. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, that he shall have no need of spoil.
Her husband may safely rely upon her trust and care, for the maintenance and enriching of his family; so as he shall have no need to depend upon the spoil of enemies, for the enhancing of his wealth.
XXXI. 14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She provideth all necessaries for her family, at the best hand; and after the manner of merchants, sendeth far for a good pennyworth. XXXI. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength.
She addresseth herself to go roundly and heartily about her business.
XXXI. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She findeth such sweetness and benefit in her careful endeavours, that she is encouraged to add vigilancy to her painfulness; and, as if the day were not long enough, she borrows of the night.
XXXI. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her houshold: for
all her houshold are clothed with scarlet.
She knows those of her family need not take care for the cold of winter; for she hath made both warm and rich provision of clothes for them; not only for necessary use, but for ornament also.
XXXI. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the city.
Her husband, sitting in the gates of the city amongst other of the
rulers, is easily known from all the rest, by the cost and neatness of that attire, which she hath provided for him, above his fellows.
XXXI. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing.
She so demeans herself, as that all her actions and carriages are full of honour, and bewray a masculine strength and fortitude.
XXXI. 28, 29 He praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Her husband shall extol her worth and virtue above all other women, saying, Other wives have done and deserved well, but thou surpassest them all.
XXXI. 30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, shall be praised.
It is no trusting, either to outward favour, or to plausibleness of disposition as for beauty, it is fading and transitory; but the true fear of God is that, the comfort whereof will stick by us always; the woman that is endued therewith shall be ever praised.
XXXI. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Let her have that due praise, which she hath deserved; and let her own works, as they have merited, procure her a public applause in the world.
I. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
All these earthly things, all that a man can either do or attain, is utterly vain and ineffectual, in respect of any true and perfect contentment or happiness, which it can yield to the soul; since it is both fickle in the continuance, and unsatisfying in the nature
and worth thereof.
I. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
So far is all the labour of man, which he takes here on earth, unable to make him truly happy, as that it yieldeth him no during profit at all: both he and it are swept away by death, as if they bad never been.
I. 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
There is no stability here: one generation of men goeth, another comes, none stayeth; while yet the earth, the basest of all elements, and that from whence we received this corruptible substance, continueth in her wonted estate, and abides to the end of the world.
I. 5, 6 The sun also ariseth, &c. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth, &c.
All things are in motion: the sun and the wind whirl about the earth, and return around, after their circuition, to the very place whence they began their course.
I. 7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place whence the rivers come, thither they return again. So do the waters also keep the same course of motion; for all rivers run into the sea, which again empties itself, by secret conveyances, through the channels of the earth, into those springs whereof the rivers arise; so as there is a continued circle in the movings and interchanges of these creatures; but man passeth away at once, and appeareth no more.
I. 8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. All these creatures do, as it were, toil themselves in their motion; and all the world, wherein they are, is full of trouble and vexation: it is not in the power of man to express the particulars; no, the very eye of man can never have seen enough, the ear of man can never have heard enough, of the miserable vanities and irk, some conditions of this earthly life of ours.
I. 9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
The eye and the ear can never come to an end of their work; for there is still an interchangeable succession of their objects: that, which hath formerly been, shall be again; and that, which nowis done, shall, in the revolution of times, come about again; and there is neither an end of old occurrences, nor a beginning of
I. 1 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after them.
We easily mistake the condition of all things; for those things, which have been, leave no remembrance behind them; and those things, which are now present, and those, which shall be hereafter, shall be so forgotten of our succeeding posterity, as if they
had never been.
I. 15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
That, which is crooked and perverse, cannot by any human means be rectified and reformed: only the power of God, who made all things, can change the natural misdisposition of them; and there are such store of defects and enormities, both in nature and practice, that they cannot be numbered.
I 17 Fgave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly.
I addicted myself moreover to the disquisition and study of morality; and, therein, I did not only labour to know what pertained to wisdom, but also, on the contrary, to understand what belongs to folly and madness, that I might perfectly comprehend all the fashions and courses of men; and I found this to be no better than vexation of spirit.
I. 18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.