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
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.