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Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 30

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-33

Chapter 30

This is the end of the proverbs that were gathered by Hezekiah's men. Now in the thirtieth chapter we have,

The words of Agur ( Proverbs 30:1 )

Whoever he is. He tells us who he is, but it really doesn't help.

[he's a] son of Jakeh ( Proverbs 30:1 ),

But I don't know who Jakeh is.

even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal ( Proverbs 30:1 ),

And men that I don't know. So yet God has seen fit to put this here in the scriptures. Agur declares,

Surely I am more brutish than any man, I have not the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy ( Proverbs 30:2-3 ).

In other words, the guy isn't making any claims for himself, Ph.D.'s or anything else. "I have not learned wisdom, nor do I have the knowledge of the holy. I'm more brutish than any man. I don't have the understanding of men." But now he asks some very searching questions.

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? ( Proverbs 30:4 )

Talking about men.

who has gathered the wind in his fists? ( Proverbs 30:4 )

Surely no man.

who hath bound the waters in a garment? ( Proverbs 30:4 )

Surely no man.

who hath established all the ends of the earth? ( Proverbs 30:4 )

Not man. He's talking about God. He's talking about the things that are in God's category. Paul tells us, "He who has ascended is the same one who first of all descended. And when He ascended, He led the captives or led the captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men" ( Ephesians 4:8-9 ). So, "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the winds in his fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth?"

what is his name ( Proverbs 30:4 ),

Interesting. But even more interesting, he said,

what is his son's name ( Proverbs 30:4 ),

Referring to God's Son. And so it is an interesting question. He is speaking of the characteristics and the things that belong unto God. He said, "What is His name?" The name, of course, is Yahweh. And what is His Son's name? Yahovah Shua, Jesus.

if you can tell? For every word of God is pure: he [that is, God] is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar ( Proverbs 30:4-6 ).

Don't take upon yourself to add to the Word of God.

Now in Deuteronomy after God gave the law, God gave a warning that a person wasn't to try to diminish the law. Taking away from the commandments that God had given. Or man wasn't to seek to add to it. Yet the Jews in their Talmud added some sixty volumes of interpretation to that law, the Mishnah, the Talmud. Here again, "The Word of God is pure." Now he says, "Don't add to it, lest God reproves you, and you be found a liar."

In the end of the book of Revelation, God pronounces a special curse upon any man who would add to the words of that book or take away from the words of that book. "Unto him who would dare to add to the book, to him shall be added the plagues that are in the book. He that would dare to take away from the words of the book, his name shall be taken out of the book of life" ( Revelation 22:18-19 ).

It is a very heavy thing for a man to presume to speak for God. And God gives some very serious warnings to anyone who would presume to speak for God. "Woe unto them who say, 'Thus saith the Lord,' when I have not spoken, saith the Lord of hosts." And God tells all the things He'll do to that person who dares to speak in the name of the Lord when God hasn't really spoken.

Now in Peter's epistle, he said that, "God hath given to us all that pertains to life and to godliness" ( 2 Peter 1:3 ). Really, you don't need any more than the Word that God has already given. All that we need for life and for godliness has already been given to us in the Word of God. We don't need some modern day revelation from God.

Now the problem of men speaking for God, as there are men who purport that they do, the Catholic Church has placed an aura around the Pope and the papal infallibility so that he supposedly is speaking for God. And his word is acknowledged as being the Word of God. Or with the Mormons, their prophets and their president speaks the word of God. And they have to accept it as scripture, and they can give you argumentation, "Why should God quit speaking to men?" and so forth. And you know, that God is speaking to us today through the prophets and all. The thing is, as is declared here, "Lest he reprove thee and thou be found a liar." Now those men who have purportedly spoken for God, the thing that happens is that the next guy comes along and oftentimes will disclaim what they have said. And he's speaking for God when he disclaims that the previous person said.

Brigham Young, one of the prophets and the leaders of the Mormon Church, supposedly speaking for God said an awful lot of radical things that the church denies today. The Mormon Church denies much of the doctrine that Brigham Young proclaimed. He actually proclaimed that Adam was their God. The only God with whom they had to do. He proclaimed that there are some sins for which the blood of Jesus Christ cannot atone; a person has to shed their own blood to atone for particular sins. The blood of Christ is not sufficient. And he preached this in many a sermon; how you can do those friends a favor by shedding their blood in order that their sins might be expiated.

Now the Mormons today deny this kind of a shedding your own blood for the atonement of your own sins. But yet, one of their prophets declared it speaking for God. Now God doesn't change His mind. Thus, when a man purports to be speaking for God when God hasn't spoken, that man is usually discovered to be a liar. So the Word of God is pure. It doesn't change. It isn't altered. But men so often purportedly speak for God when indeed God hasn't spoken.

Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies ( Proverbs 30:7-8 ):

Now this is more or less the prayer of this Agur unto God. "Just two things, Lord, I desire. Don't deny me them before I die. Remove me far from vanity and lies."

give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food that is convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain ( Proverbs 30:8-9 ).

He's really seeking just sort of a moderate kind of a life. "I don't want riches, lest I would say, 'Who is God?' And deny God. Or I don't want to be poor either that I would be tempted to go out and steal in order to take care of my needs. So God, just give me that in-the-middle average life."

Don't accuse a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be found guilty. Now there is a generation that curses their father, and does not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet they are not really washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men ( Proverbs 30:10-14 ).

A wicked generation indeed from verse Proverbs 30:11-14, the different generations that do these wicked things.

Now the horseleach has two daughters, crying, Give, give. And there are three things that are never satisfied, yes, there are four things that say not, It is enough ( Proverbs 30:15 ):

Four things that you can't really satisfy.

First, the eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother ( Proverbs 30:17 ),

I beg your pardon. I just jumped. Four things that say, 'It isn't enough.' The first is:

The grave ( Proverbs 30:16 );

Never says it's enough. People are dying everyday. The second thing:

the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water ( Proverbs 30:16 );

The dry parched earth.

and the fire, none of them say, It is enough. Now the eye that mocks his father, and despises to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. Now there are three things that are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: 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 maid. Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats, and wipes her mouth, and says, I have done no wickedness. There are three things on the earth that are disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear ( Proverbs 30:16-22 ):

Four odious things.

The servant when he reigns; a fool when he is filled with meat; an odious woman when she is married; and a handmaid that is the heir to her mistress. There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise ( Proverbs 30:22-24 ):

Or wiser than wise. Four little things yet so very wise. Wise beyond their own wisdom.

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; the conies are but a feeble folk, yet they make their houses in the rocks; the locusts have no king, yet they go forth all of them by bands; the spider takes hold with her hands ( Proverbs 30:25-28 ),

Or the gecko.

and is in the kings' palaces ( Proverbs 30:28 ).

From the ant we learn the wisdom of preparing for the future. How that it lays up its food in the summer. Because somehow the ant has an awareness that the time is coming when it won't be able to get out and lay up food, so it stores up the food while it has the opportunity to do so.

Jesus said in an interesting parable, "Make use of the unrighteousness of mammon, so that when they fail, you will be received into the everlasting kingdom" ( Luke 16:9 ). In other words, use what you have now for your eternal benefit. That's wise. Many people don't have that wisdom. The ant teaches us the wisdom of preparation for the future.

The coney, the little hyrax, teaches us the wisdom of recognizing our own weakness and feebleness and to take shelter in that which is stronger than we are. Makes his home in the rocks. Recognize our own weakness and hide ourselves in that rock, Jesus Christ.

The locust shows wisdom in his cooperative efforts. By himself, the locust can do no harm. As he goes forth in bands, he can be devastating. Oh, that the church would learn the lesson of working together, cooperative endeavors for the kingdom of God.

And finally, the gecko shows its wisdom by taking hold with his hands and as the result, dwells in king's palaces. Even as we are to take hold of the promises of God as they of the Old Testament did, that we might dwell one day in the King's palace.

There are three things which go well, yea, four are beautiful in their going: the lion which is the strongest among beasts, and doesn't turn away for any; the greyhound; and the goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up. If you have done foolishly in lifting up yourself, or if you have thought evil, lay your hand upon your mouth. Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath will bring strife ( Proverbs 30:29-33 ).

And such are the words of Agur. Agur, who is the son of Jakeh, who makes no claims for himself. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Proverbs 30". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/proverbs-30.html. 2014.
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