Proverbs 30–31

1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle.

The man declares to Ithiel,

to Ithiel and Ukal:

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.

4 Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended?

Who has gathered the wind in his fists?

Who has bound the waters in a garment?

Who has established all the ends of the earth?

What is His name, and what is the name of His son,

if you know?

5 Every word of God is pure;

He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

6 Do not add to His words,

lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar.

7 Two things I have required of you;

do not deny me them before I die:

8 Remove vanity and lies far from me—

Give me neither poverty nor riches;

feed me with food convenient for me;

9 lest I be full, and deny You,

and say, “Who is the Lord?”

or lest I be poor, and steal,

and take the name of my God in vain.

10 Do not accuse a servant to his master,

lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.

11 There is a generation that curses their father,

and does not bless its mother.

12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,

and yet is not washed from its filthiness.

13 There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes!

And their eyelids are lifted up.

14 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.

15 The leech has two daughters,

crying, “Give, give.”

There are three things that are never satisfied,

indeed, four things never say, “It is enough”:

16 the grave, the barren womb,

the earth that is not filled with water,

and the fire that never says, “It is enough.”

17 The eye that mocks at his father,

and despises to obey his mother,

the ravens of the valley will pick it out,

and the young eagles will eat it.

18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,

indeed, four which I do not know:

19 the way of an eagle in the air,

the way of a serpent on a rock,

the way of a ship in the midst of the sea,

and the way of a man with a maid.

20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman;

she eats and wipes her mouth,

and says, “I have done no wickedness.”

21 For three things the earth is disquieted,

and for four which it cannot bear:

22 for a servant when he reigns,

and a fool when he is filled with food,

23 for a hateful woman when she is married,

and a handmaid who is heir to her mistress.

24 There are four things which are little upon the earth,

but they are exceeding wise:

25 The ants are a people not strong,

yet they prepare their food in the summer;

26 the badgers are but a feeble folk,

yet they make their houses in the rocks;

27 the locusts have no king,

yet they go forth all of them by bands;

28 the spider takes hold with her hands,

and is in kings’ palaces.

29 There are three things which go well,

indeed, four are comely in going:

30 a lion which is strongest among beasts,

and does not turn away for any;

31 a strutting rooster, a male goat also,

and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

32 If you have been foolish in lifting up yourself,

or if you have thought evil,

put your hand on your mouth.

33 Surely the churning of milk brings forth butter,

and the wringing of the nose brings forth blood,

so the forcing of wrath brings forth strife.

Chapter 31

1 The words of King Lemuel, an oracle that his mother taught him:

2 What, my son? And what, the son of my womb?

And what, the son of my vows?

3 Do not give your strength to women,

nor your ways to that which destroys kings.

4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,

it is not for kings to drink wine,

nor for princes strong drink;

5 lest they drink and forget the law,

and pervert the justice of any of the afflicted.

6 Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish,

and wine to those who are of heavy hearts.

7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty,

and remember his misery no more.

8 Open your mouth for the speechless

in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,

and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

10 Who can find a virtuous woman?

For her worth is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband safely trusts in her,

so that he will have no lack of gain.

12 She will do him good and not evil

all the days of her life.

13 She seeks wool and flax,

and works willingly with her hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,

she brings her food from afar.

15 She also rises while it is yet night,

and gives food to her household,

and a portion to her maidens.

16 She considers a field and buys it;

with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17 She clothes herself with strength,

and strengthens her arms.

18 She perceives that her merchandise is good;

her candle does not go out by night.

19 She lays her hands to the spindle,

and her hands hold the distaff.

20 She stretches out her hand to the poor;

yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,

for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 She makes herself coverings of tapestry;

her clothing is silk and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates,

when he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes fine linen and sells it,

and delivers sashes to the merchant.

25 Strength and honor are her clothing,

and she will rejoice in time to come.

26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and in her tongue is the teaching of kindness.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household,

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many daughters have done virtuously,

but you excel them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,

and let her own works praise her in the gates.

2 Corinthians 11:1–15

1 I would to God you could bear with me a little in my folly. Indeed, bear with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve through his trickery, so your minds might be led astray from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might submit to it readily enough.

5 For I think I am not in any way inferior to the most eminent of the apostles. 6 Even though I am unpolished in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. All things about us have been thoroughly revealed to you. 7 Did I commit a sin in abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I preached to you the gospel of God free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting wages from them to serve you. 9 Furthermore, when I was present with you and was lacking, I was a burden to no one. For the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I lacked. In all things I have kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so will I keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows.

12 And I will continue doing what I am doing, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be found equal to us in what they boast about. 13 For such are false apostles and deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.