Proverbs 30:1

ESV The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle. The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out.
NIV The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh--an inspired utterance. This man's utterance to Ithiel: 'I am weary, God, but I can prevail.
NASB The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the pronouncement. The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:
CSB The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The pronouncement. The man's oration to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:
NLT The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God.
KJV The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,

What does Proverbs 30:1 mean?

The words of this verse have inspired page after page of analysis and debate. Ultimately, the verse is only an introduction; its exact meaning has no practical effect on the rest of the text. Ancient languages such as Hebrew were written without punctuation, lower case letters, or even spaces between characters. As a result, some phrases can be read more than one way. Also, ancient names were phrases or combinations of common words. Usually, context makes the correct meaning clear. In others, there can be more than one reasonable meaning. When the phrase isn't overtly connected to the rest of the text, defining an explicit meaning can be difficult.

Most modern translations render this as a reference to the names Ithiel and Ucal; these may have been students or rivals of Agur. Others split the same Hebrew letters differently, making this an expression of fatigue. Virtually all note the use of a Hebrew word, massā', implying a burden or something of great importance. This "oracle" or "pronouncement" is profoundly serious.

Emotional and mental exhaustion seem to follow Agur's efforts to find God by his own efforts. The natural mind cannot perceive spiritual truth without being enlightened by the Holy Spirit. That makes Agur's exhaustion easy to understand. The apostle Paul writes: "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). In 2 Corinthians 4:4 he writes: "The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
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