Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 30:4

Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know!
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Continents;   Geology;   God;   Ignorance;   Jesus, the Christ;   Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   Thompson Chain Reference - Power;   Weakness-Power;   Wind, the;   The Topic Concordance - Creation;   God;   Jesus Christ;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Christ Is God;   Water;   Wind, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Proverb, the Book of;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Ascension of Jesus Christ;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Pardon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - God;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Proverbs, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Agur;   Jakeh;   Massa;   Proverbs, Book of;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Fist;   Arment;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Wind;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Eliezer B. Nathan of Mayence;   Philo Judæ;   She'elot U-Teshubot;   Tithe;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for January 20;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? - Calmet paraphrases this passage thus: "Who hath descended, etc. In order to show the truth of what he was about to say, he observes: I have not the science of the saints; for how could I have acquired it? Who is he who could attain to that? Who has ascended to heaven to learn that science, and who has descended in order to publish it? Is the science of salvation one of those things that can be apprehended only by study? Is it not a pure gift of the goodness of God? Moses, after having shown to the people the will of God, said to them: 'This commandment which I command thee this day is not hidden from thee; neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?' Deuteronomy 30:11, Deuteronomy 30:12. The person whose words we are here examining speaks a knowledge more sublime than that contained in the simple laws of the Lord, common to all the people of Israel. He speaks of the sublime science of the designs of God, of his ways, and of his secrets; and in this sense he affirms he has no knowledge."

Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? - It is as difficult for a mortal man to acquire this Divine science by his own reason and strength, as to collect the winds in his fists. And who can command the spirit of prophecy, so that he can have it whensoever he pleases?

What is his name? - Show me the nature of this Supreme Being. Point out his eternity, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence; comprehend and describe him, if thou canst.

What is his son's name - Some copies of the Septuagint have η τι ονομα τοις τικνοιο αυτου ; "Or the name of his sons;" meaning, I suppose, the holy angels, called his saints or holy ones, Proverbs 30:3.

The Arabic has, What is his name? and what is the name of his father? him who begat him. But the Chaldee, the Syriac, and the Vulgate, read as the Hebrew.

Many are of opinion that Agur refers here to the first and second persons of the everblessed Trinity. It may be so; but who would venture to rest the proof of that most glorious doctrine upon such a text, to say nothing of the obscure author? The doctrine is true, sublimely true; but many doctrines have suffered in controversy, by improper texts being urged in their favor. Every lover of God and truth should be very choice in his selections, when he comes forward in behalf of the more mysterious doctrines of the Bible. Quote nothing that is not clear: advance nothing that does not tell. When we are obliged to spend a world of critical labor, in order to establish the sense of a text which we intend to allege in favor of the doctrine we wish to support, we may rest assured that we are going the wrong way to work. Those who indiscriminately amass every text of Scripture they think bears upon the subject they defend, give their adversaries great advantage against them. I see many a sacred doctrine suffering through the bad judgment of its friends every day. The Godhead of Christ, salvation by faith, the great atoning sacrifice, and other essential doctrines of this class, are all suffering in this way. My heart says, with deep concern,

Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis,

Tempus eget.

When truth is assailed by all kinds of weapons, handled by the most powerful foes, injudicious defenders may be ranked among its enemies. To such we may innocently say, "Keep your cabins; you do assist the storm."

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-30.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Man is to be humbled to the dust by the thought of the glory of God as seen in the visible creation.

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? - The thought is obviously that of the all-embracing Providence of God, taking in at once the greatest and the least, the highest and the lowest. The mysteries of the winds and of the waters baffle men‘s researches.

What is his son‘s name - The primary thought is that man knows so little of the divine nature that he cannot tell whether he may transfer to it the human relationships with which he is familiar, or must rest in the thought of a unity indivisible and incommunicable. If there is such an Only-begotten of the Father (compare Proverbs 8:30), then His nature, until revealed, must be as incomprehensible by us as that of the Father Himself.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-30.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?.... That has been thither to fetch knowledge of God and divine things, and has returned to communicate it. Enoch was taken up to heaven before this time: and Elijah, as is very probable, after; but neither of them returned again, to inform mortals what was to be seen, known, and enjoyed there: since, the Apostle Paul was caught up into the third heaven, and came back again; but then the things he heard were such as it was not lawful for a man to utter: and indeed, since the coming of Christ there is no need of any further revelation to be made nor of any such expedition, in order to obtain it, Romans 10:6. And, properly speaking, there never was any besides him, whose names are Ithiel and Ucal, that ever did this: he lay in the bosom of the Father, and was privy to his whole mind and will; he descended from heaven to earth not by local motion, but, by assumption of nature; and when he had made known his Father's will, and done his work, he ascended far above all heavens, and received gifts for men; to fill his churches and ministers with them, in order to communicate and improve spiritual and divine knowledge; and therefore, with great propriety and pertinence, he applies these words to himself, John 3:13;

who hath gathered the wind in his fists? not any mere creature; not any man or set of men; it is not in the power of any, either men or angels, to restrain or let loose the winds at pleasure; nor has Satan, though called the prince of the power of the air, that is, of the devils in the air, any such command of them; none but he that made them can command them to blow, or be still; even he who brings them out of his treasures, and his own son, whom the wind and seas obeyed; see Psalm 135:7; The HeathensF23 κεινον γαρ ταμιην ανεμων, &c. Homer. Odyss. 10. v. 21, 22. "Aeole, namque tibi divum pater atque hominum rex, et mulcere dedit fluctus, et tollere vento", Virgil Aeneid. l. v. 69, 70. themselves are so sensible of this, that the power of the winds only belongs to God, that they have framed a deity they call Aeolus; whom the supreme Being has made a kind of steward or store keeper of the winds, and given him a power to still or raise them as he pleasesF24See a Sermon of mine, called "Christ the Saviour from the Tempest", p. 17, 18. ;

who hath bound the waters in a garment? either the waters above, which are bound in the thick clouds as in a garment which hold them from pouring out; or the waters of the sea, which are as easily managed by the Lord as an infant by its parent, and is wrapped about with a swaddling band, Job 26:8. But can any creature do this? none but the mighty God; and his almighty Son the Ithiel and Ucal, who clothes the heavens with blackness, and makes sackcloth their covering: even he who is the Redeemer of this people, and has the tongue of the learned, to speak a word in season to them Isaiah 50:2;

who hath established all the ends of the earth? fixed the boundaries of the several parts of the world, Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, and the several countries in them? settled the foundations of the earth, and secured the banks and borders of it from the raging of the sea? None but these next mentioned; see Job 38:4;

what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell? if thou surest it is a mere man that does all these things tell his name; or, if he be dead, say what is the name of his son or of any of his family; so Jarchi and others interpret it: or rather, since it is the Lord alone and his own proper Son, to whom these things can he ascribed say what is his name; that is, his nature and perfections which are incomprehensible and ineffable; otherwise he is known by his name Jehovah and especially as his name is proclaimed in Christ and manifested by him and in his Gospel: and seeing he has a son of the same nature with him, and possessed of the same perfections, co-essential, and co-existent, and every way equal to him, and a distinct person from him, say what is his nature and perfections also; declare his generation and the manner of it; his divine filiation, and in what class it is; things which are out of the reach of human capacity, and not to be expressed by the tongue of men and angels; see Matthew 11:27. Otherwise, though his name for a while was a secret, and he was only called the seed of the woman and of Abraham, Genesis 3:15; yet he had many names given him under the Old Testament; as Shiloh, Immanuel, the Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and Prince of peace; the Lord our righteousness, and the Man, the Branch: and under the New Testament, Jesus the Saviour, Christ the Anointed; the Head of the church, the Judge of the world; the Word of God, and King of kings, and Lord of lords. This Scripture is a proof of Christ's being the eternal Son of God; of his equality with his divine Father as such, their name and nature being alike ineffable; of his co-existence with his Father as such; and of his omnipresence and omnipotence, expressed by the phrases here used of ascending, &c. and of his distinct personality from the Father; the same question being distinctly put of him as of the Father. Some render the last clause, "dost thou know?"F25כי תדע "ad nosti?" Noldius, p. 393. No. 1337. thou dost not know God and his Son, their being and perfections are not to be known by the light of nature, only by revelation, and but imperfectly.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-30.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Who hath ascended into d 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?

(d) Meaning, to know the secrets of God, as though he would say, "None".
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-30.html. 1599-1645.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

4 Who hath ascended to the heavens and descended?

Who hath grasped the wind in his fists?

Who hath bound up the waters in a garment?

Who hath set right all the ends of the earth?

What is his name, and what his son's name, if thou knowest?

The first question here, ' מי וגו, is limited by Pazer ; עלה־שׁמים has Metheg in the third syllable before the tone. The second question is at least shut off by Pazer, but, contrary to the rule, that Pazer does not repeat itself in a verse; Cod. Erfurt. 2, and several older editions, have for בחפניו more correctly בחפניו with Rebia . So much for the interpunction. חפנים are properly not the two fists, for the fist - that is, the hand gathered into a ball, pugnus - is called אגרף ; while, on the contrary, חפן (in all the three dialects) denotes the palm of the hand, vola ( vid ., Leviticus 16:12); yet here the hands are represented after they have seized the thing as shut, and thus certainly as fists. The dual points to the dualism of the streams of air produced by the disturbance of the equilibrium; he who rules this movement has, as it were, the north or east wind in one first, and the south or west wind in the other, to let it forth according to his pleasure from this prison (Isaiah 24:22). The third question is explained by Job 26:8; the שׂמלה (from שׂמל, comprehendere ) is a figure of the clouds which contain the upper waters, as Job 38:37, the bottles of heaven. “All the ends of the earth” are as at five other places, e.g., Psalms 22:28, the most distant, most remote parts of the earth; the setting up of all these most remote boundaries ( margines ) of the earth is equivalent to the making fast and forming the limits to which the earth extends (Psalms 74:17), the determining of the compass of the earth and the form of its figures. כּי תדע is in symphony with Job 38:5, cf. Job 38:18. The question is here formed as it is there, when Jahve brings home to the consciousness of Job human weakness and ignorance. But there are here two possible significations of the fourfold question. Either it aims at the answer: No man, but a Being highly exalted above all creatures, so that the question מה־שּׁמו [what his name?] refers to the name of this Being. Or the question is primarily meant of men: What man has the ability? - if there is one, then name him! In both cases מי עלה is not meant, after Proverbs 24:28, in the modal sense, quis ascenderit , but as the following ויּרד requires, in the nearest indicative sense, quis ascendit . But the choice between these two possible interpretations is very difficult. The first question is historical: Who has gone to heaven and (as a consequence, then) come down from it again? It lies nearest thus to interpret it according to the consecutio temporum . By this interpretation, and this representation of the going up before the descending again, the interrogator does not appear to think of God, but in contrast to himself, to whom the divine is transcendent, of some other man of whom the contrary is true. Is there at all, he asks, a man who can comprehend and penetrate by his power and his knowledge the heavens and the earth, the air and the water, i.e., the nature and the inner condition of the visible and invisible world, the quantity and extent of the elements, and the like? Name to me this man, if thou knowest one, by his name, and designate him to me exactly by his family - I would turn to him to learn from him what I have hitherto striven in vain to find. But there is not such an one. Thus: as I fell myself limited in my knowledge, so there is not at all any man who can claim limitless können and kennen ability and knowledge. Thus casually Aben Ezra explains, and also Rashi, Arama, and others, but without holding fast to this in its purity; for in the interpretation of the question, “Who hath ascended?” the reference to Moses is mixed up with it, after the Midrash and Sohar (Parasha, ויקהל, to Exodus 35:1), to pass by other obscurities and difficulties introduced. Among the moderns, this explanation, according to which all aims at the answer, “there is no man to whom this appertains,” has no exponent worth naming. And, indeed, as favourable as is the quis ascendit in coelos ac rursus descendit , so unfavourable is the quis constituit omnes terminos terrae , for this question appears not as implying that it asks after the man who has accomplished this; but the thought, according to all appearance, underlies it, that such an one must be a being without an equal, after whose name inquiry is made. One will then have to judge עלה and וירד after Genesis 28:12; the ascending and descending are compared to our German “ auf und neider ” up and down, for which we do not use the phrase “ nieder und auf ,” and is the expression of free, expanded, unrestrained presence in both regions; perhaps, since וירד is historical, as Psalms 18:10, the speaker has the traditional origin of the creation in mind, according to which the earth arose into being earlier than the starry heavens above. Thus the four questions refer (as e.g., also Isaiah 40:12) to Him who has done and who does all that, to Him who is not Himself to be comprehended as His works are, and as He shows Himself in the greatness and wonderfulness of these, must be exalted above them all, and mysterious. If the inhabitant of the earth looks up to the blue heavens streaming in the golden sunlight, or sown with the stars of night; if he considers the interchange of the seasons, and feels the sudden rising of the wind; if he sees the upper waters clothed in fleecy clouds, and yet held fast within them floating over him; if he lets his eye sweep the horizon all around him to the ends of the earth, built up upon nothing in the open world-space (Job 26:7): the conclusion comes to him that he has before him in the whole the work of an everywhere present Being, of an all-wise omnipotent Worker - it is the Being whom he has just named as אל, the absolute Power, and as the קדשׁים, exalted above all created beings, with their troubles and limitations; but this knowledge gained viâ causalitatis , viâ eminentiae , and viâ negationis , does not satisfy yet his spirit, and does not bring him so near to this Being as is to him a personal necessity, so that if he can in some measure answer the fourfold מי, yet there always presses upon him the question מה־שׁמו, what is his name, i.e., the name which dissolves the secret of this Being above all beings, and unfolds the mystery of the wonder above all wonders. That this Being must be a person the fourfold מי presupposes; but the question, “What is his name?” expresses the longing to know the name of this supernatural personality, not any kind of name which is given to him by men, but the name which covers him, which is the appropriate personal immediate expression of his being. The further question, “And what the name of his son?” denotes, according to Hitzig, that the inquirer strives after an adequate knowledge, such as one may have of a human being. But he would not have ventured this question if he did not suppose that God was not a monas unity who was without manifoldness in Himself. The lxx translates: ἣ τί ὄνομα τοῖς τέκνοις αὐτοῦ ( בּנו ), perhaps not without the influence of the old synagogue reference testified to in the Midrash and Sohar of בנו to Israel, God's first-born; but this interpretation is opposed to the spirit of this חידה (intricate speech, enigma). Also in general the interrogator cannot seek to know what man stands in this relation of a son to the Creator of all things, for that would be an ethical question which does not accord with this metaphysical one. Geier has combined this ומה־שׁם־בנו with viii.; and that the interrogator, if he meant the חכמה, ought to have used the phrase ומה־שׁם־בּתּו, says nothing against this, for also in אמון, Proverbs 8:30, whether it means foster-child or artifex , workmaster, the feminine determination disappears. Not Ewald alone finds here the idea of the Logos, as the first-born Son of God, revealing itself, on which at a later time the Palestinian doctrine of מימרא דיהוה imprinted itself in Alexandria;

(Note: Vid ., Apologetik (1869), p. 432ff.)

but also J. D. Michaelis felt himself constrained to recognise here the N.T. doctrine of the Son of God announcing itself from afar. And why might not this be possible? The Rig-Veda contains two similar questions, x. 81, 4: “Which was the primeval forest, or what the tree from which one framed the heavens and the earth? Surely, ye wise men, ye ought in your souls to make inquiry whereon he stood when he raised the wind!” And i. 164, 4: “Who has seen the first-born? Where was the life, the blood, the soul of the world? Who came thither to ask this from any one who knew it?”

(Note: Cited by Lyra in Beweis des Glaubens Jahrg . 1869, p. 230. The second of these passages is thus translated by Wilson ( Rig-Veda-Sanhitá, London, 1854, vol. ii. p. 127): “Who has seen the primeval (being) at the time of his being born? What is that endowed with substance which the unsubstantial sustains? From earth are the breath and blood, but where is the soul? Who may repair to the sage to ask this?”)

Jewish interpreters also interpret בנו of the causa media of the creation of the world. Arama, in his work עקדת יצחק, sect . xvi., suggests that by בנו we are to understand the primordial element, as the Sankhya-philosophy understands by the first-born there in the Rig, the Prakṛiti, i.e., the primeval material. R. Levi b. Gerson (Ralbag) comes nearer to the truth when he explains בנו as meaning the cause caused by the supreme cause, in other words: the principium principaiatum of the creation of the world. We say: the inquirer meant the demiurgic might which went forth from God, and which waited on the Son of God as a servant in the creation of the world; the same might which in chap. 8 is called Wisdom, and is described as God's beloved Son. But with the name after which inquiry is made, the relation is as with the “more excellent name than the angels,” Hebrews 1:4.

(Note: The Comm . there remarks: It is the heavenly whole name of the highly exalted One, the שׁם המפורשׁ, nomen explicitum , which here on this side has entered into no human heart, and can be uttered by no human tongue, the ὄνομα ὁ οὑδεὶς οῖδεν εἰ μὴ ὁ αὐτός, Revelation 19:12.)

It is manifestly not the name בן, since the inquiry is made after the name of the בן ; but the same is the case also with the name חכמה, or, since this does not harmonize, according to its grammatical gender, with the form of the question, the name דבר ( מימר ); but it is the name which belongs to the first and only-begotten Son of God, not merely according to creative analogies, but according to His true being. The inquirer would know God, the creator of the world, and His Son, the mediator in the creation of the world, according to their natures. If thou knowest, says he, turning himself to man, his equal, what the essential names of both are, tell them to me! But who can name them! The nature of the Godhead is hidden, as from the inquirer, so from every one else. On this side of eternity it is beyond the reach of human knowledge.

The solemn confession introduced by נאם is now closed. Ewald sees herein the discourse of a sceptical mocker at religion; and Elster, the discourse of a meditating doubter; in Proverbs 30:5, and on, the answer ought then to follow, which is given to one thus speaking: his withdrawal from the standpoint of faith in the revelation of God, and the challenge to subordinate his own speculative thinking to the authority of the word of God. But this interpretation of the statement depends on the symbolical rendering of the supposed personal names איתיאל and אכל, and, besides, the dialogue is indicated by nothing; the beginning of the answer ought to have been marked, like the beginning of that to which it is a reply. The confession, 1b-4, is not that of a man who does not find himself in the right condition, but such as one who is thirsting after God must renounce: the thought of a man does not penetrate to the essence of God (Job 11:7-9); even the ways of God remain inscrutable to man (Sir. 18:3; Romans 11:33); the Godhead remains, for our thought, in immeasurable height and depth; and though a relative knowledge of God is possible, yet the dogmatic thesis, Deum quidem cognoscimus, sed non comprehendimus , i.e., non perfecte cognoscimus quia est infinitus ,

(Note: Vid ., Luthardt's Kimpendium der Dogmatik, §27.)

even over against the positive revelation, remains unchanged. Thus nothing is wanting to make Proverbs 30:1-4 a complete whole; and what follows does not belong to that section as an organic part of it.

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-30.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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?

Who — What mere man? None at all.

Ascended — To learn the mind of God who dwells there.

Descended — To teach men below what he had learned above. No man can fully know and teach us these things unless he hath been in heaven, and sent down from thence to the earth for that end.

In his fists — To hold them in, or let them out at his pleasure? And none but he who made and governs all creatures, can know and teach these things.

The waters — Those above the clouds, and those below, the sea which God keeps as it were within doors, and the water which he shuts up in the bowels of the earth.

The earth — The whole earth from one end to another, which God upholdeth in the air, by the word of his power.

If — If thou thinkest there be any man who can do these things, produce his name; or if he be dead, the name of any of his posterity.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-30.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 30:4 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?

Ver. 4. Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?] Who but the Son of man which is in heaven? [John 3:13] who but the holy angels upon that Son of man, the ladder of life? [John 1:51] who but those that have, in some measure, the knowledge of those holy ones, [Proverbs 30:3] the knowledge of God in Christ, which is life eternal, [John 17:3] heaven aforehand? Holy Agur holds it out to us here that to "know heavenly things" is to "ascend into heaven." Even Aristotle (a) saith that a little knowledge, though but conjectural, about heavenly things, is to be preferred above much knowledge, though certain, about inferior things, and yet he knew no heaven beyond the moveable heavens, neither acknowledged any body, or time, or place, or vacuum there. The truth is, no natural knowledge can be had of the third heaven, nor any help by human arts, for it is neither aspectable nor moveable. As no man hath seen God at any time, so, nor heaven, the throne of God, only "the only begotten Son of God which is in the bosom of the Father," he hath declared both him and heaven, [John 1:18] as that there are many mansions, crowns, sceptres, kingdoms, glories, beauties, angelical entertainments, beatific visions, sweetest varieties, felicities, eternities. And yet all this, or whatsoever more can be said of heaven’s happiness, is not the one half, as she said of Solomon’s magnificence, of what we shall find in that city of pearl. To express it is as impossible as to compass the heavens with a span, or contain the ocean in a nutshell. Let there be continual ascensions thither in our hearts; let us lift up hearts and hands to God in the heavens, and he will shortly send his chariots for us, as Joseph did for his father, fetch us riding upon the clouds, convoy us by his angels through the air, as through the enemy’s country, and puts us into that panegyries, that general assembly, and solemn celebrity of holy and happy souls. [Hebrews 12:23] As in the mean space, how should we every day take a turn or two with Christ upon Mount Tabor? - get up to the top of Pisgah with Moses, and take a prospect of heaven? - turn every solemnity into a school of divinity? Say, as Fulgentius, when he saw the nobility of Rome sit mounted in their bravery, Si talis est Roma terrestris qualis est Roma coelestis? If Rome be such a glorious place, what is heaven? What music may we think there is in heaven? said another good soul, when he sat and heard a good concert of music. This, this is the principal end and most profitable use of all creatures, Cum scalae nobis et alae fiant, When they become ladders and wings to us to mount up to heaven.

Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? &c.] None but God, the great wonder worker, the right Aeolus, that "bringeth the winds out of his treasures," [Psalms 135:7] and bids them at his pleasure "Peace, be still." We read of a whirlwind raised by the devil, [Job 1:19] and of a tempest, laid by the magicians (Herodotus, in Polymnia). But it cannot be said {as 1 Kings 19:11} that "God was not in that wind"; for he hath the royalty of all the creatures, though he suffer the devil to play rex sometimes, for ends best known to himself.

Who hath bound the waters in a garment?] Those above the firmament, in clouds - through which they distil and drop down, as water would do if bound up in a garment - those below, in channels and bottles, as the Psalmist hath it. Water is naturally above the earth, as the garment above the body, and would, but for the providence of God, prove as the shirt made for the murdering of Agamemnon, where the head had no issue out, &c. {See Trapp on "Genesis 1:7"}

What is his name?] God is above all name, to speak properly. When Manoah inquires after his name, the answer is, "It is Wonderful"; that is, I am called as I am called; but such is thy weakness that it passeth thy conception; this ocean will not be measured by thy musselshell. Multa nomina et lumina sibi finxerunt infideles. The heathens had many names for their dunghill deities; but the Africans called an "unknown god" whom they worshipped, Amen, that is, Heus tu quis est? Hark, who art thou? as Plutarch relateth. (b)

And what is his son’s name?] Christ hath many names in Holy Scripture, as Isaiah 9:6-7. So "Jehovah, our righteousness"; "Messiah the Prince," [Daniel 9:25] whereunto answereth in the New Testament, "the Lord Christ"; but "who can declare his generation?" [Isaiah 53:8] whether that eternal generation, or that in the fulness of time, the mystery whereof was beyond words? Our safest eloquence here will be our silence, our greatest knowledge a learned ignorance. Only we have here a clear testimony of the distinction of the persons, and that the Son is coequal and consubstantial with the Father, since he is also, as the Father, above all name and notion.

If thou canst tell.] But so can none: "No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither doth any man know the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him." [Matthew 11:27] The Son is so like the Father here, that if you know the one, ye cannot but know the other. [John 14:7-9] Milk is not so like milk. Non tam ovum ovo simile. He is "the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person." [Hebrews 1:3] {See Trapp on "Hebrews 1:1-14; Hebrews 3:1-19"} And if we desire a glass wherein to behold the face of God the Father, and of his Son, here is one held forth in the next verse.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-30.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Who? what mere man? None at all; and therefore I may truly say, that I have not that which no mortal man ever yet had.

Hath ascended up into heaven; there to learn the mind of God who dwells there, and that wisdom which is from above.

Or descended; or rather, and descended, to teach men below what he had learned above. The meaning of the place is, No man can fully know and teach us these things unless he hath been in heaven, and sent down from thence to the earth to that end; whence our Saviour Christ justly applies these words to himself, John 3:13, and appropriates this work of declaring God’s nature and will to men to himself, upon this account, that he alone was in his Father’s bosom, John 1:18.

Hath gathered the wind in his fists, to hold them in, or let them out, and rule them at his pleasure. Where is there a man that can do this? And none but he who made and governs all the creatures can know and teach these things. The waters; those above in the clouds, and those below, the sea, which God keeps as it were within doors, and in a garment and swaddling-band, as it is expressed, Job 38:8,9; and the waters which he shuts up in the bowels of the earth.

All the ends of the earth; the whole earth, from one end to another, which God upholdeth in the air by the word of his power, and secureth from the rage of the sea, by the banks and shores wherewith he hath begirt it for that purpose.

What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? The sense is either,

1. Seeing it is apparent that no man hath this power, and consequently this knowledge, but that this is the prerogative of the great God, declare, if thou art able, his name, i.e. his nature and perfections, and the eternal generation and the perfections of his Son. Or rather,

2. If thou thinkest there be any such man who can do these things, I challenge thee to produce his name; or if he be long since dead, and gone out of the world, the name of any of his posterity that can assure us that their progenitor was such a person; which because thou canst not do, I must conclude that none can thoroughly understand this matter but the blessed God, and his Son Christ, and they to whom God shall reveal it by Christ.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-30.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.Ascended up — The object of this passage is, probably, like that of many similar ones, to impress the mind with the incomprehensible greatness of the divine Author of all existence, his majesty, his omnipotence, his omniscience, his inscrutable perfections, and his unapproachable glory. So in Job 11:7-8: “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.” So, also, Paul, in Romans 11:33-35: “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?” There are also many similar passages in the Psalms. It is the language of the emotions, of poetry, labouring to express — rather, feeling utterly incompetent to express — the glory of the divine character, and giving up in despair. Compare Job 15:8; also the whole of Job 37, 41, and Job 38:4; Psalms 104:3; Isaiah 40:12; Jeremiah 23:18; 1 Corinthians 2:16.

Bound the waters in a garment Some expositors understand this of the waters “above the firmament,” (Genesis 1:7;) that is, in the atmosphere. Others, with more plausibility, of the waters of the ocean, which are in sundry places presented under the idea of being straitened, confined within their appropriate limits, by divine statute. Compare Proverbs 8:39. The assertion is gratuitous, that the inspired Hebrew writers regarded the , (rakia’h,) the expanse, improperly rendered by the Greek στερεωμα, stereoma, and the Latin, firmamentum, as a solid pavement by which the waters were held up. Figurative expressions, such as “the windows of heaven,” do not prove it, any more than similar forms found in our own literature would prove to a reader a thousand years hence that we had the same idea.

Established all the ends of the earth , (aphse-arets,) ends, extremities, or boundaries of the earth, that is, of the land as distinguished from the waters. The two clauses may be translated thus: Who hath folded up (compressed) the waters in the mantle? Who hath constituted (ordered, ordained) all the boundaries of the land? An allusion, probably, to Genesis 1:9; “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.” It is remarkable that , (yikkavu,) gathered together, has the same radical meaning as the above, namely, that of being bound up or folded together. (See Gesenius on the word , (kavah.) There is a reference in the verse, first, to the visible heavens, or what the Hebrews called the second heavens — the place of the heavenly bodies, sun and stars; secondly, to the first heavens — the atmosphere, the region of the air, wind, which he gathers in his hand, or controls; thirdly, to the water and land as being adjusted and bounded by his ordinance — the sea, to which be has given its decree that the waters should not pass his commandment, limit.

The earth — Land, to which he has appointed the foundations. Now follows the great question,

What is his name — Tell me, that is, according to a well-known Hebraism, What is He, who is He, what must He be, who performeth such wonders in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, and in the waters that are under or within the earth? Or, if thou canst declare to me nothing of himself, knowest thou the name of any one related to him, as for instance, a son, of whom we may inquire? As if he had said, If thou knowest any way or means by which we may attain to a knowledge of this ineffably glorious Being, tell me, O tell me!

Thus the majority of expositors understand this remarkable language. The sense is a good one, and yet, perhaps, it is scarcely satisfactory. A mind having somewhat the same yearnings as are here expressed may still ask: Is there not something more in it? May there not be also under these anxious interrogations, made under the divine afflatus, a foreshadowing of the glorious Son of God, the , or , (Yehovah, or Yahveh,) the coming one, for whose appearing, as the revealer of God, (John 1:18,) so many prophets and righteous men of ancient times intensely looked as the hope of humanity: “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.” Thus much, at least, the passage may show; that the idea of divine relations — I will not say persons, but relations — of paternity and filiation, does not seem to have been altogether foreign, nor appeared wholly absurd, to the mind of ancient sages like Agur, who is nevertheless clearly monotheistic in his conceptions of the great Author of our being. And if the expression should mean all that some interpreters, both ancient and modern, believe, it would seem to find a corresponding voice in the words of the Deliverer himself. Compare a few passages: “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” John 3:13. “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”

Matthew 11:27. To the same purport are the words of the Baptist: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18. Nor should it be forgotten that David had, probably before Agur, in an ode unquestionably Messianic, used the word, , (ben,) son, and its equivalent, , (bar,) “Thou art my Son.” Psalms 2:7. “Kiss the Son.”Psalms 2:12. His son’s name — Most of the ancient Versions correspond to the Hebrew here; but the Septuagint has the plural sons, and the Arabic has, “What is the name of his father.”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-30.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 30:4. Who hath ascended, &c. — What mere man hath ascended into heaven to learn the mind of God, who dwells there? None have. And descended — To teach men below what he had learned above. No man can fully know and teach us these things unless he hath been in heaven, and sent down from thence to the earth for that end. Who hath gathered the wind in his fists — To hold them in, or let them out at his pleasure? And none but he who made and governs all creatures, can know and teach these things. The waters — Those above, the clouds, and those below, the sea, which God keeps as it were within doors, and the waters which he shuts up in the bowels of the earth. The ends of the earth — The whole earth, from one end to another, which God upholdeth in the air by the word of his power. If thou canst tell — If thou thinkest there be any man who can do these things, produce his name; or, if he be dead, the name of any of his posterity.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-30.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Descended. How then could I acquire such a sublime science? (Deuteronomy xxx. 11.) (Calmet) --- Christ alone could impart it, (John iii. 13.; Haydock) who is the perfect wisdom. (Worthington) --- Hands. Septuagint, "breast." (Haydock) --- It is no less difficult to fathom the designs of Providence. Some understand the "spirit" of prophecy to be here meant. --- Son. Septuagint, "children." But many Greek copies, and all the interpreters, have Son, which the Fathers explain of the second person of the blessed Trinity, specified [in] chap. viii. 22. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-30.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Who . . . ? Can it mean that the speaker here is the speaker of Pro 8? viz. the "son" of the last clause of this verse?

the wind. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-30.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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?

Nor is it any wonder that I have not the knowledge of the Holy; for:

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? - so as to understand what is being done there, so as to tell mortals what he hath seen. We Christians can tell of such a one (John 3:13). Though we have not ascended into heaven, or descended into the depth; still, in all that is vital to know, we have 'the word nigh' to us (Romans 10:6-8; Deuteronomy 30:12-13.)

Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? - firmly grasped.

Who hath bound the waters in a garment? - (Isaiah 40:12.) As Israel bound the dough in their clothes (Exodus 12:34).

Who hath established all the ends of the earth? - the boundaries of land and sea, and of the several distinct kingdoms. None except God. Therefore He alone knoweth thoroughly the deep mysteries of the universe.

What (is) his name, and what (is) his son's name? The Hebrews designate a man by not only his own name, but by his relations. In allusion to this usage, but with a designed reference to the mystery of the everlasting generation of the Son of God, the Spirit puts this question into Agur's mouth, Can you tell His name (i:e., His nature) and His Son's? (Proverbs 8:22-31.) None can; therefore, naturally, none can "have the knowledge of the Holy" One (Proverbs 30:3; Matthew 11:27; Matthew 16:17). The name of God, and that of His Son, are here joined, as both alike ineffable and incomprehensible. Co-existence and omnipresence (by the ascent to heaven and descent), creative and all-sustaining omnipotence are ascribed to both. The Son is represented as distinct from the Father in personality, yet one in essence and operation.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-30.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) Who hath ascended up into heaven . . .—The reason of Agur’s sadness is here declared. He feels himself far off from possessing anything that may be called knowledge of God or of His works. (Comp. Galatians 4:9; 1 Corinthians 13:12.) The questions in this verse are intended to bring out the nothingness of man as compared with the might of the Creator of the Universe; they resemble Job 38-41, and Isaiah 40:12 sqq.

Who hath bound the waters in a garment?—Stretching out the clouds as a “curtain” (Psalms 104:2; Isaiah 40:22), to keep the rain from falling upon the earth. (Comp. Job 26:8.)

What is his name?—We may call Him the Self-existing (Jehovah), Powerful (Shaddai), Strong (El). Awful (Eloah) Being; we may describe Him as merciful, gracious, etc. (Exodus 34:5 sqq.), but no words will describe Him adequately, for not till the next life shall we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2), and He has been pleased to reveal Himself only partially to us.

What is his son’s name?—See the description of wisdom in Proverbs 8:22 sqq., and the notes there.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-30.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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?
Who hath ascended
Deuteronomy 30:12; John 3:13; Romans 10:6; Ephesians 4:9,10
who hath gathered
Job 38:4-41; Psalms 104:2-35; Isaiah 40:12-31; 53:8
what is his name
Exodus 3:13-15; 6:3; 34:5-7; Deuteronomy 28:58
and what
Genesis 32:29; Judges 13:18; Psalms 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Jeremiah 23:6; Matthew 1:21-23; Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 2:12 - he saw him;  Job 26:8 - bindeth up;  Job 37:23 - we;  Ecclesiastes 8:17 - that a man;  Jeremiah 10:12 - established;  Jeremiah 31:37 - If;  Daniel 3:25 - the Son of God;  Luke 8:25 - being;  John 9:36 - Who;  1 Corinthians 13:9 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-30.html.

God openbaart Zich in Zijn Zoon

Agur maakt door zes vragen duidelijk dat hij – en dat geldt voor ieder mens – inderdaad totaal onwetend is aangaande God en de Goddelijke dingen. Deze vragen leggen de nadruk op het handelen van God en tonen aan dat het absurd is voor een sterveling om te denken dat hij Gods werk kan verklaren of zichzelf kan vergelijken met God. Ze bewijzen de verhevenheid van God en het volledige onvermogen van de mens (vgl. Js 40:12; Dt 30:11-14; Rm 10:6-7; Ef 4:9).

Het is niet tegen te spreken dat “de hemel” er is, boven ons, en dat de belangstelling van de mens sinds mensenheugenis naar de hemel uitgaat. De reis naar de maan toont zijn verlangen naar de kennis ervan. Zijn onderzoek van de hemel, dat hij vanaf de aarde verricht, geeft hem het bewustzijn dat hij slechts aan de zoom van het heelal krabbelt. En naar de hemel gaan om er eens een kijkje te nemen, is nog eens heel wat anders. Wie heeft dat ooit gedaan? Of wie is eruit neergedaald om iets over de geheimenissen ervan te vertellen?

Wij weten dat Christus is opgestegen naar de hemel. Dat gebeurde nadat Hij het verlossingswerk op het kruis had volbracht, in de dood was geweest en was opgestaan. Van daaruit heeft Hij de Heilige Geest gezonden. In de Geest komt Hij naar beneden om te vertellen wat er in de hemel is (Jh 14:18Jh 16:13-15). Toen de Heer Jezus op aarde was, kon Hij zeggen: “En niemand is opgevaren in de hemel dan Hij Die uit de hemel is neergedaald, de Zoon des mensen <Die in de hemel is>” (Jh 3:13). Hij, Die na Zijn werk op het kruis zou opvaren naar de hemel, was toen Hij op aarde was tegelijkertijd in de hemel. Dat was zo, omdat Hij de eniggeboren Zoon van God is. Hij is het antwoord op de vragen van Agur.

Als we onder de hemel kijken, hier op aarde, zien we ook daar dingen die door de mens niet te vatten of te controleren zijn. De onzichtbare “wind” is ongrijpbaar en zijn kracht onweerstaanbaar, maar niet voor Hem. In de geestelijke toepassing ziet de wind op moeilijkheden die in ons leven komen. Wij hebben daar geen invloed op, maar we mogen weten dat Christus ook de wind in ons leven in Zijn hand heeft.

Hetzelfde geldt voor de tastbare “wateren”, waarop de mens ook totaal geen vat heeft. Wateren spreken van beproevingen die in ons leven kunnen komen en waarbij we het gevoel hebben dat we erin verdrinken. Maar Hij is bij ons in de wateren van de beproeving (Js 43:2). En wat te denken van “alle einden der aarde”, wie heeft die “vastgesteld”, ofwel er stabiliteit aan gegeven? Ook hier is Hij het antwoord. Hij geeft ons leven stabiliteit.

De atmosfeer (wind), het vloeibare (wateren) en het vaste (einden der aarde), alles staat buiten de controle van de mens. Toch worden ze gecontroleerd. Agur vraagt naar de Naam van Wie dat doet en naar de Naam van Zijn Zoon. De “Naam” en de “Naam van Zijn Zoon” zijn terecht met hoofdletters geschreven, want Agur spreekt over God. Alleen is God voor hem nog zo onbegrijpelijk, zo onnavolgbaar, zo vol geheimen. Vragen naar de Naam is vragen naar Zijn Wezen, naar Zijn kenmerken en eigenschappen. Wie zal die ten volle kunnen kennen?

Hij vraagt ook naar de Naam van Zijn Zoon. Als God dan zo verheven en zo onbegrijpelijk is, is er misschien Iemand Die Hem kan vertegenwoordigen? Is er misschien Iemand Die namens God kan spreken, of Hem zou kunnen verklaren? Zijn vraag laat wel zien dat hij heel dicht bij God leeft en aanvoelt dat er misschien wel een Zoon is Die deelt in de eigenschappen van God omdat Hij Zijn Zoon is. Daarbij moeten we bedenken dat de Zoon niet namens God spreekt, maar dat Hij als God spreekt, want Hij is God.

God heeft “in [het] laatst van deze dagen tot ons gesproken in [de] Zoon” (Hb 1:1). De profeten waren mensen door middel van wie God Zich tot Zijn volk richtte. Maar de Heer Jezus, de Zoon, is geen middel door wie God spreekt. Het spreken van de Heer Jezus is het spreken van God Zelf! De profeten spraken namens God. De Heer Jezus sprak niet namens God, maar in Zijn hoedanigheid van God. Dit deed Hij zeker als Mens op aarde, maar die Mens is God de Zoon. God Zelf spreekt als Goddelijk Persoon. Die Persoon is de Zoon.

Zoals hierboven al is opgemerkt, is de waarheid van de drie-enige God, Vader, Zoon en Heilige Geest, pas in het Nieuwe Testament ten volle geopenbaard. Hier, in het Oude Testament, is dat nog verborgen. Wij weten dat de Heer Jezus de eeuwige Zoon is aan Wie God niet bepaalde eigenschappen heeft overgedragen, maar Die volkomen een met Hem is en Hem volkomen heeft geopenbaard op aarde: “De eniggeboren Zoon Die in de schoot van de Vader is, Die heeft Hem verklaard” (Jh 1:18). Tegelijk blijft het ook voor ons een niet te doorgronden mysterie Wie de Zoon werkelijk is, want “niemand kent de Zoon dan de Vader” (Mt 11:27).

Voor ons zijn de vragen van Sp 30:4 in het Nieuwe Testament beantwoord. Daar zien we dat ze gaan over God en Zijn openbaring in de Zoon. Overal waar God Zich openbaart, doet Hij dat in de Zoon. We zien ook dat de Zoon de Schepper en Onderhouder van alle dingen is (Jh 1:1-3; Ko 1:16; Hb 1:2). Alles staat onder Zijn controle en Hij brengt de schepping naar het doel dat Hij Zich heeft gesteld. God zal eenmaal alles aan Zijn voeten onderwerpen (Hb 2:8) omdat Hij het werk van de verlossing heeft volbracht.

4. Wie is ten hemel opgeklommen en nedergedaald; wie is nu eens hier op aarde zegenend en bestraffend, besturend en onderhoudend, dan boven in den hemel almachtig heersend op aarde, dan weer aan alle plaats met Zijn onzichtbaar Goddelijk bestuur tegenwoordig (Johannes 3:13. Romeinen 10:6)? a) Wie heeft den wind in Zijne vuisten verzameld, zodat Hij naar Zijnen wil nu den enen, dan den anderen laat waaien of terughoudt? Wie heeft de wateren boven in de donkere wolken des hemels als in een kleed gebonden, zodat zij niet op de aarde verwoestend en verdelgend nederstromen (Job 26:8,14. Psalm 104:6. Spreuken 8:28.)? Wie heeft al de einden der aarde vastgesteld, zodat de zee hare palen niet meer te buiten gaat, om de aarde te overdekken (Jeremia 5:22. Job 33:10,. Gij ziet wel al deze grote wonderen der schepping, en weet dat zij geschied en aanwezig zijn; maar hoe is Zijn naam, de naam van den Machtige, die dit alles doet? Kunt gij door uw natuurlijk verstand, uw denken, Hem op volkomene wijze naar Zijne eeuwige kracht en Godheid kennen, zodat gij Zijn Wezen en Zijne eigenschappen in éénen naam zoudt kunnen zamenvatten, en hoe is de naam Zijns Zoons 1)? Kunt gij u van dezen eeuwigen God zulk ene kennis verschaffen, als van een mens, wiens afstamming, geslacht en leven gij nauwkeurig kunt onderzoeken; heeft Hij een Zoon, en wat is Zijn wezen, welke zijn Zijne eigenschappen, welke is Zijne betrekking tot de schepselen Gods, zo gij het weet? Nooit zal het u of enig ander mens gelukken, ook niet door de grootste inspanning van het rein menselijke, natuurlijke verstand, God in Zijn innerlijk Wezen en werken te begrijpen; het blijft voor u gesloten en duister.

a) Job 38:4. Psalm 104:3. Jesaja 40:12. 1) Dit erkennen wij met een dankbaar, gelovig hart, dat de Heilige Geest, die Agur zulke woorden deed uitspreken, zonder dat deze zich dit helder bewust was, ene diepte aanduidde, die eerst door de verschijning van den Zone Gods in het vlees voor ons ontsloten is. Het blijft alzo bij hetgeen in Hoofdstuk 8:22 over de duidelijkheid der kennis van den persoon van Christus in de Spreuken van Salomo gezegd is.

Agur heeft ten doel Christus te verheerlijken en den Vader in Hem. God en Zijne werken zijn onvergelijkelijk en onnaspeurlijk. Maar daar is klaarblijkelijk ene profetische heenwijzing naar Hem, die uit den Hemel kwam om onze Leermeester en Zaligmaker, en daarna in de hemelen oproer, om onze Voorspraak te zijn. Christus, de Zone Gods, want het is de naam des Zoons, zowel als des Vaders, waarnaar hier gevraagd wordt.

Dit 4de vers bergt, zo als uit het verband blijkt, ene duidelijke heenwijzing naar den eersten en tweeden Persoon in de Drieëenheid.).

De heiligen onder het Oude Verbond verwachtten den Messias als den Zoon des Gezegenden, en hier wordt van Hem gesproken als van een persoon onderscheiden van den Vader, maar wiens naam nog verborgen is. De grote Verlosser kan met niemand op aarde vergeleken, en daarom ook nimmer volkomen verstaan worden, want wie is ten hemel opgeklommen en nedergedaald? Wie is nevens Hem volmaakt bekend met beide werelden? Hij was in den hemel in den schoot Zijns Vaders (Johannes 1:18); van daar is Hij nedergedaald, om onze natuur aan te nemen; waar werd ooit zulk ene nederbuigende liefde en genade gevonden! In die natuur is Hij ook opgevaren (Efeze 4:9), om ere en heerlijkheid te ontvangen; en wie heeft dit naast Hem gedaan? (Romeinen 10:6,7). De heerlijkheid van het rijk Zijner Voorzienigheid is evenzeer onnaspeurlijk als onvergelijkelijk. Dezulke, die hemel en aarde verzoent, was de Schepper van beide en regeert over alles. Indien Christus niet als Middelaar tussen beide getreden ware, de fundamenten der aarde zouden onder den last van den vloek over de zonde bezweken zijn. Wie en wat is de Machtige, die alle deze dingen doet? Wij kunnen noch God, noch den Zone Gods volkomen verstaan en begrijpen. O diepte der kennis! Dat wij dan Zijne getuigenissen geloven, aan Zijne roepstemmen gehoor geven, op Zijne beloften pleiten, op Zijn bestuur acht geven en Zijne geboden houden..

Ontegenzeglijk vraagt Agur hier naar Hem, die uit God en zelf God is, door Wien alle dingen zijn gemaakt, als de middeloorzaak der schepping; maar met den Naam vraagt hij naar zijn Wezen als Zoon. En evenmin als het eindige schepsel de diepten Gods kan verstaan en doorgronden, evenmin ook de diepten des Zoons. In Zijn Wezen is de Drieëenige God ondoorgrondelijk.