Proverbs 30:24

ESV Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise:
NIV Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:
NASB Four things are small on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise:
CSB Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:
NLT There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:
KJV There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

What does Proverbs 30:24 mean?

Agur continues his list of numbered things. The four examples given in this section (Proverbs 30:25–28) are labeled as "wise." In the Book of Proverbs, "wisdom" is typically associated with God's will and the capacity to act on that knowledge (Proverbs 1:7, 22). However, it can also refer to something like common sense or sound judgment. Each of the four instances Agur lists accomplishes something impressive, despite being "small," or lowly, in the eyes of the world. The Hebrew root word qātān is also used to mean "insignificant" or "unimportant." The various animals mentioned are individually insignificant, but they perform tasks worthy of human notice.

This statement strengthens the biblical idea that "wisdom" is ultimately superior to raw physical strength, or massive wealth, or political power. The story of David and Goliath illustrates this truth. David was young when he defended God's honor against the giant Goliath. King Saul warned, "You are not able to go against [Goliath] to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth" (1 Samuel 17:33). Nevertheless, young David defeated the mighty giant (1 Samuel 17:45–49) using the practical techniques he'd learned as a shepherd. He trusted that God would give him the victory and told Goliath that the victory would be "that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lᴏʀᴅ saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lᴏʀᴅ, and he will give you into our hand" (1 Samuel 17:46–47).

Similarly, God uses things the world considers weak or cheap to accomplish His will (1 Corinthians 1:27–28). Through the despised death of Jesus, God triumphed over the skewed wisdom of the world.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: