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This page: proverbs of


Agur son of Jakeh


the Bible

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Proverbs of Solomon

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JPS 6:1-5

My son, if you have stood surety for your fellow,

Given your hand for another,

You have been trapped by the words of your mouth,

Snared by the words of your mouth.

Do this, then, my son, to extricate yourself,

For you have come into the power of your fellow;

Go grovel—and badger your fellow;

Give your eyes no sleep,

Your pupils no slumber.

Save yourself like a deer out of the hand [of a hunter];

Like a bird out of the hand of a fowler.

Compare to:



He who is generous to the poor makes a loan to the LORD;

He will repay him his due.


To profit by withholding what is due to the poor

Is like making gifts to the rich—pure loss.


Who cries, “Woe!” who, “Alas!”;

Who has quarrels, who complaints;

Who has wounds without cause;

Who has bleary eyes?

Those whom wine keeps till the small hours,

Those who gather to drain the cups.

Do not ogle that red wine

As it lends its color to the cup,

As it flows on smoothly;

In the end, it bites like a snake;

It spits like a basilisk.

Your eyes will see strange sights;

Your heart will speak distorted things.

You will be like one lying in bed on high seas,

Like one lying on top of the rigging.

“They struck me, but I felt no hurt;

They beat me, but I was unaware;

As often as I wake,

I go after it again.”




If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;

If he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

You will be heaping live coals on his head,

And the LORD will reward you.


Do not answer a dullard in accord with his folly,

Else you will become like him.

Answer a dullard in accord with his folly,

Else he will think himself wise.

text checked (see note) Sep 2009

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Agur son of Jakeh
RSV/OT 30:18-19

Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:

the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,

the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a maiden.

Misquoted in:

Joseph Heller

text checked (see note) Jan 2005

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