An Overview Of The Old Testament
Part 189 – Words Of Agur Through Cursing Mother and Father (Proverbs 30:1-11)
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1. Who is the writer we are reading the prophetic words of in chapter thirty?
Agur, whom Strong’s concordance (Strong’s # 94) says is “a fanciful name for Solomon”: “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal” (Proverbs 30:1).

  • Regardless of who the writer is, God is the author of all Scriptures (I Corinthians 2:9-13, II Timothy 3:15-17, and II Peter 1:20-21; cf. II Samuel 23:2 and Jeremiah 1:9).

2. Does Agur claim to be of superior intelligence?
No: “(2) Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. (3) I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy” (Proverbs 30:2-3).

  • Whether or not it is so in Agur’s life at the moment, sometimes man will acknowledge his lack of intelligence in times of reflection (Psalms 73:21-22).
  • Being stupid [brutish] is not a good thing (Psalms 92:6).
  • In fairness, man in general is stupid in measure to God (Jeremiah 10:14).
  • Agur denies being smarter than any other man (I Corinthians 3:18).
  • In comparison to the holy (seemingly referring to God; I Samuel 2:2, Psalms 99:3, Isaiah 30:11, Isaiah 57:15, and Revelation 4:8), no one has God’s knowledge (Isaiah 55:7-9 and Romans 11:33).
  • If this is Solomon, it certainly fits. He did not learn wisdom, it was given to him (I Kings 4:29-30). On the flip side of the coin, he certainly didn’t always use that God given wisdom either (I Kings 11:1-13).

3. What point is being made in Proverbs 30:4?
That no man is on God’s level: “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” (Proverbs 30:4)?

  • Deuteronomy 33:26, Psalms 89:6, Isaiah 40:12-31, and Jeremiah 10:6.

4. Is there any corruption in God’s word?
No: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5).

  • Psalms 12:6, Psalms 119:140, and I Peter 1:23-25.

5. Can you escape judgment if you change God’s word?
No: “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:6).

  • Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Galatians 1:6-9, and Revelation 22:18-19.

6. What two requests did Agur make?
“(7) Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: (8) Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me” (Proverbs 30:7-8).

  • Good to not want to be around vanity (Isaiah 59:4 and Acts 14:15) or liars (Psalms 119:29 and Psalms 119:163; cf. Romans 12:9).
  • Good to have the mindset of having what we need rather than all we want (Proverbs 23:5 and I Timothy 6:6-10).

7. Can having too much or having too little turn some people from God?
Sadly, the answer is yes: “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 30:9).

  • That is not to say that all rich (Genesis 13:2 and Hebrews 11:8-19) or poor (Luke 16:19-31) people will turn from God.
  • People who have too much CAN trust too much in their abundance (Deuteronomy 31:20 and Revelation 3:14-19).
  • People who have suffered from poverty can turn to stealing (Proverbs 6:30-31).
  • Some will just outright blame God (i.e. Job 27:2).

8. Should you accuse [slander] a servant to his master?
No, you be found guilty: “Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty” (Proverbs 30:10).

  • Proverbs 10:18 and Romans 14:4.

9. Will there be times when children do not honor their parents?
Yes: “There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother” (Proverbs 30:11).

  • It is wrong not to respect righteous parents (Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:20-21, Deuteronomy 27:16, Proverbs 30:17, Matthew 15:4-6, and Ephesians 6:1-2).