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Proverbs 30:7-9

Context

30:7 Two things 1  I ask from you; 2 

do not refuse me before I die:

30:8 Remove falsehood and lies 3  far from me;

do not give me poverty or riches,

feed me with my allotted portion 4  of bread, 5 

30:9 lest I become satisfied and act deceptively 6 

and say, “Who is the Lord?”

Or lest I become poor and steal

and demean 7  the name of my God.

1 sn Wisdom literature often groups things in twos and fours, or in other numerical arrangements (e.g., Amos 1:3–2:6; Job 5:19; Prov 6:16-19).

2 tn Assuming that the contents of vv. 7-9 are a prayer, several English versions have supplied a vocative phrase: “O Lord” (NIV); “O God” (NLT); others have supplied a similar phrase without the vocative “O”: NCV, CEV “Lord”; TEV “God.”

3 tn The two words might form a hendiadys: “falsehood and lies” being equivalent to “complete deception.” The word שָׁוְא means “false; empty; vain; to a false purpose.” The second word means “word of lying,” thus “a lying word.” Taken separately they might refer to false intentions and false words.

4 tn The word חֹק (khoq) means “statute”; it is also used of a definite assignment in labor (Exod 5:14; Prov 31:15), or of a set portion of food (Gen 47:22). Here it refers to food that is the proper proportion for the speaker.

5 sn Agur requested an honest life (not deceitful) and a balanced life (not self-sufficient). The second request about his provision is clarified in v. 9.

6 tn The verb כָּחַשׁ (kakhash) means “to be disappointing; to deceive; to fail; to grow lean.” In the Piel stem it means “to deceive; to act deceptively; to cringe; to disappoint.” The idea of acting deceptively is illustrated in Hos 9:2 where it has the connotation of “disowning” or “refusing to acknowledge” (a meaning very close to its meaning here).

7 tn The Hebrew verb literally means “to take hold of; to seize”; this produces the idea of doing violence to the reputation of God.



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