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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 30

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 30

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 30

1. The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh, the prophecy; the words of the man concerning, "God is with me; yea, God is with me, and I will be able."   א. דִּבְרֵי אָגוּר בִּן יָקֶה הַמַּשָּׂא נְאֻם הַגֶּבֶר לְאִיתִיאֵל לְאִיתִיאֵל וְאֻכָל:
The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh: אגור בן יקה, the words of Solomon, who gathered (אגר) understanding (בינה) and vomited it (והקיאה). The Sages interpreted it in this manner.  
the prophecy: He said this prophecy on that matter.  
the words of the man concerning, “God is with me;: said the man that is Solomon this prophecy concerning himself because of איתיאל because he relied on his wisdom to increase gold, horses and wives, which he was forbidden to increase, and so he said, ” God is with me, and I will be able. I will increase wives, and they will not turn my heart away; I will increase gold, and I will not turn away; I will increase horses, and I will not take the people back to Egypt."  
yea, God is with me, and I will be able “: Since he said,” God is with me, and I will be able to do it, and I will not stumble.“ לאיתיאל, because of ” God is with me, “ as in (Ex. 14:3): ” For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel (לבני) ," meaning of the children of Israel.  
2. For I am more boorish than any man, neither do I have man's understanding.   ב. כִּי בַעַר אָנֹכִי מֵאִישׁ וְלֹא בִינַת אָדָם לִי:
For I am more boorish: Because I relied on my wisdom in a matter that the Holy One, blessed be He, is concerned lest one come to sin.  
3. Neither have I learned wisdom, nor do I know the knowledge of the holy ones.   ג. וְלֹא לָמַדְתִּי חָכְמָה וְדַעַת קְדשִׁים אֵדָע:
Neither have I learned wisdom: nor do I know the knowledge of the holy ones, for I subtracted or added to the words of Moses.  
4. Who ascended to heaven and descended? Who gathered wind in his fists? Who wrapped the waters in a garment? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and what is the name of his son, if you know?   ד. מִי עָלָה שָׁמַיִם וַיֵּרַד מִי אָסַף רוּחַ בְּחָפְנָיו מִי צָרַר מַיִם בַּשִּׂמְלָה מִי הֵקִים כָּל אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ מַה שְּׁמוֹ וּמַה שֶּׁם בְּנוֹ כִּי תֵדָע:
Who ascended to heaven: like Moses?  
Who gathered wind: The soot of the furnace.  
Who wrapped the waters: (Ex. 15:8): “The depths were congealed” ; (ad loc.): “The floods stood upright like a heap,” through Moses’s prayer.  
Who established: the Tabernacle, through whose establishment all the ends of the earth were firmly established. In this way, it is expounded in the Pesikta.  
What is his name and what is the name of his son: If you say that there already was one like him, tell me what his son’s name is; i.e., what family is descended from him, and we will know who he is.  
if you know: if you know who he is. Now how did you not fear to transgress His words?  
5. Every word of God is refined; He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.   ה. כָּל אִמְרַת אֱלוֹהַּ צְרוּפָה מָגֵן הוּא לַחֹסִים בּוֹ:
Every word of God is refined: Heb. צרופה, refined, and He did not write anything unnecessary. [Therefore,] I should have been careful.  
6. Do not add to His words, lest He prove to you, and you be found a liar.   ו. אַל תּוֹסְףְ עַל דְּבָרָיו פֶּן יוֹכִיחַ בְּךָ וְנִכְזָבְתָּ:
lest He prove to you, and you be found a liar: He will prove to your face that through your addition you have come to sin, and certainly if you subtract.  
7. I ask two [things] of You; do not withhold them from me before I die.   ז. שְׁתַּיִם שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵאִתָּךְ אַל תִּמְנַע מִמֶּנִּי בְּטֶרֶם אָמוּת:
I ask two [things] of You: Now he addresses the Holy One, blessed be He.  
8. Distance falsehood and the lying word from me; give me neither poverty nor wealth; provide me my allotted bread,   ח. שָׁוְא וּדְבַר כָּזָב הַרְחֵק מִמֶּנִּי רֵאשׁ וָעשֶׁר אַל תִּתֶּן לִי הַטְרִיפֵנִי לֶחֶם חֻקִּי:
poverty: Heb. ראש, poverty.  
provide me: Heb. הטריפני, an expression of food, and similarly (Ps. 111:5): “He has given food (טרף) to those who fear Him.”  
9. lest I become sated and deny, and I say, "Who is the Lord?" And lest I become impoverished and steal, and take hold of the name of my God.   ט. פֶּן אֶשְׂבַּע וְכִחַשְׁתִּי וְאָמַרְתִּי מִי יְהוָה וּפֶן אִוָּרֵשׁ וְגָנַבְתִּי וְתָפַשְׂתִּי שֵׁם אֱלֹהָי:
lest I become sated: from wealth.  
and deny: the existence of the Holy One, blessed be He, out of my extreme haughtiness. Now what is the denial? And I say, “Who is the Lord?” Meaning, there is no God.  
and take hold of the name of my God: to become accustomed to swearing by it falsely.  
10. Do not inform on a slave to his master, lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.   י. אַל תַּלְשֵׁן עֶבֶד אֶל אֲדֹנָו אֲדֹנָיו פֶּן יְקַלֶּלְךָ וְאָשָׁמְתָּ:
Do not inform: Do not deliver your case against a person to complain about him to the Holy One, blessed be He, even if he is wicked, who curses his father and possesses all the abominations mentioned here, and the proof of the matter is from Hosea son of Beeri, as is stated in Pesachim (87b) in the chapter entitled “The Woman,” that he informed on lsrael and said, “Exchange them for another nation.” Replied the Holy One, blessed be He, “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry” (Hos. 1:2).  
11. A generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother.   יא. דּוֹר אָבִיו יְקַלֵּל וְאֶת אִמּוֹ לֹא יְבָרֵךְ:
12. A generation that is pure in its eyes, but is not cleansed of its filth.   יב. דּוֹר טָהוֹר בְּעֵינָיו וּמִצֹּאָתוֹ לֹא רֻחָץ:
13. A generation-how lofty are its eyes! And its eyelids are raised.   יג. דּוֹר מָה רָמוּ עֵינָיו וְעַפְעַפָּיו יִנָּשֵֹאוּ:
A generation-how lofty etc.: This refers to haughtiness.  
14. A generation whose teeth are [like] swords, and its molars are [like] knives, to devour the poor of the land and the needy of men.   יד. דּוֹר חֲרָבוֹת שִׁנָּיו וּמַאֲכָלוֹת מְתַלְּעֹתָיו לֶאֱכֹל עֲנִיִּים מֵאֶרֶץ וְאֶבְיוֹנִים מֵאָדָם:
A generation whose teeth are [like] swords: [These are] the outer [teeth].  
and its molars: Its inner teeth.  
15. The leech has two daughters, "Give" and "Give." There are three that are not sated, and four that do not say, "Enough!"   טו. לַעֲלוּקָה שְׁתֵּי בָנוֹת הַב הַב שָׁלוֹשׁ הֵנָּה לֹא תִשְׂבַּעְנָה אַרְבַּע לֹא אָמְרוּ הוֹן:
The leech has: Menachem (Machbereth p. 134) interprets עלוקה according to its apparent meaning. We learn that it is Arabic, but the commentators say that it is an expression of the grave and the descent. Indeed, we learn this in Midrash Psalms (31:9), which interprets the “two daughters” as Paradise and Gehinnom. This one says, “Give me righteous people!” and this one says, “Give me wicked people!”  
four that do not say, “Enough!”: Heb. הון, lit. wealth. We have much [wealth].  
16. The grave, the confined womb, and the earth, which is not sated with water, and fire, which does not say, "Enough!"   טז. שְׁאוֹל וְעֹצֶר רָחַם אֶרֶץ לֹא שָֹבְעָה מַּיִם וְאֵשׁ לֹא אָמְרָה הוֹן:
the confined womb: Sexual intercourse.  
17. The eye that mocks the father and despises the mother's wrinkles-may the ravens of the valley pick it out, and the young eagles devour it.   יז. עַיִן תִּלְעַג לְאָב וְתָבוּז לִיקֲּהַת אֵם יִקְּרוּהָ עֹרְבֵי נַחַל וְיֹאכְלוּהָ בְנֵי נָשֶׁר:
the mother’s wrinkles: Heb. ליקהת, the wrinkles that gather (נקהין) in his mother’s face, from the expression of (Gen. 49:10): “a gathering (יקהת) of peoples.” The “yud” is a radical, like יפעת, splendor; (יעלת חן) (Prov. 5:19), a graceful mountain goat.  
pick it out: Heb. יקרוה, an expression of (Num. 16: 14): “will you pick (תנקר) ” (Ex. 33:22) “In the cleft (בנקרת) of the rock.” Forer in French, to bore through. Let the raven, which is cruel to its young, come and pick it and not eat it and not derive benefit from it, and let the eagle, which is compassionate with its young, come and eat it and derive benefit from it. The raven is cruel, as it is stated (Ps. 147:9): “to the young ravens which cry,” and the eagle is compassionate, as it is stated (Deut. 32: 11): “It bears its young on its wing.”  
18. There are three things that are concealed from me, and four that I do not know;   יח. שְׁלשָׁה הֵמָּה נִפְלְאוּ מִמֶּנִּי וְאַרְבָּעָ וְאַרְבָּעָה לֹא יְדַעְתִּים:
are concealed from me: They are covered after they passed from my eyes, and I do not know where they went, because they hasten to hide from the eye.  
19. The way of the eagle in the heavens, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the heart of the sea, and the way of a man with a young woman.   יט. דֶּרֶךְ הַנֶּשֶׁר בַּשָּׁמַיִם דֶּרֶךְ נָחָשׁ עֲלֵי צוּר דֶּרֶךְ אֳנִיָּה בְלֶב יָם וְדֶרֶךְ גֶּבֶר בְּעַלְמָה:
20. So is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats and wipes her mouth, and she says, "I have committed no sin."   כ. כֵּן דֶּרֶךְ אִשָּׁה מְנָאָפֶת אָכְלָה וּמָחֲתָה פִיהָ וְאָמְרָה לֹא פָעַלְתִּי אָוֶן:
and [she] wipes: Heb. ומחתה she turns over her lower orifice, as it is written (II Kings 21:13): “as one wipes (ימחה) a dish, he wipes (מחה) and turns it upside down.”  
she eats: Scripture speaks euphemistically.  
21. Under three things the earth quakes, and under four it cannot endure;   כא. תַּחַת שָׁלוֹשׁ רָגְזָה אֶרֶץ וְתַחַת אַרְבַּע לֹא תוּכַל שְׂאֵת:
22. Under a slave who rules and a wretch who is sated with food;   כב. תַּחַת עֶבֶד כִּי יִמְלוֹךְ וְנָבָל כִּי יִשְׂבַּע לָחֶם:
23. under a hated woman who is married, and a maidservant who inherits her mistress.   כג. תַּחַת שְׂנוּאָה כִּי תִבָּעֵל וְשִׁפְחָה כִּי תִירַשׁ גְּבִרְתָּהּ:
24. There are four small creatures on the earth, yet they are exceedingly wise;   כד. אַרְבָּעָה הֵם קְטַנֵּי אָרֶץ וְהֵמָּה חֲכָמִים מְחֻכָּמִים:
25. The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in summer.   כה. הַנְּמָלִים עַם לֹא עָז וַיָּכִינוּ בַקַּיִץ לַחְמָם:
26. The hyraxes are a people not strong, yet they make their home in the rock.   כו. שְׁפַנִּים עַם לֹא עָצוּם וַיָּשִֹימוּ בַסֶּלַע בֵּיתָם:
27. The locusts have no king, yet they all go out in a troop.   כז. מֶלֶךְ אֵין לָאַרְבֶּה וַיֵּצֵא חֹצֵץ כֻּלּוֹ:
28. The spider grasps with [her] hands, and she is in a king's palaces.   כח. שְׂמָמִית בְּיָדַיִם תְּתַפֵּשׂ וְהִיא בְּהֵיכְלֵי מֶלֶךְ:
The spider: Erinee in Old French. [Araignee in modern French.]  
grasps with [her] hands: With her hands she grasps and clings to the walls.  
29. Three are outstanding in their step, and four are outstanding in their walk;   כט. שְׁלשָׁה הֵמָּה מֵיטִיבֵי צָעַד וְאַרְבָּעָה מֵיטִבֵי לָכֶת:
outstanding in their step: They walk and succeed with their might.  
30. The lion is the mightiest of the beasts, who is undaunted by anyone.   ל. לַיִשׁ גִּבּוֹר בַּבְּהֵמָה וְלֹא יָשׁוּב מִפְּנֵי כֹל:
31. The greyhound and the he-goat, and the king against whom no one dares to rise up.   לא. זַרְזִיר מָתְנַיִם אוֹ תָיִשׁ וּמֶלֶךְ אַלְקוּם עִמּוֹ:
The greyhound: Heb. מתנים זרזיר. I do not know what it is, but from the context appears to be an animal with weak loins.  
and the king against whom no one dares to rise up: Heb. ומלך אלקום I do not know what it is according to its simple meaning, but the Aggadic midrashim interpret these five sections of four as corresponding to the four kingdoms. Since their rule over Israel was strengthened because of the iniquity of having transgressed the five Books of the Pentateuch, Scripture mentions them five times.  
[16] The grave and the barren womb: The grave represents the kingdom of Babylon, for it is stated regarding Nebuchadnezzar (Hab. 2: 5): “who widened his desire like the nether-world.” And the barren womb, that is Media, in whose time mercy (רחמים) was held back from Israel, as it is said (Esther 3:13): to destroy, kill and cause to perish."  
the earth, which is not sated with water: This represents Greece, which was not sated with issuing decrees on Israel.  
and fire, which does not say, “Enough!”: Corresponding to Esau, who acted with burning wrath against Israel, for he said to destroy children and women in one day. And likewise…  
[19] The way of the eagle: This is Babylon, the great eagle, with the long wings (Ezek. 17:3).  
the way of a ship in the heart of the sea: This represents Greece, who was swift with its decrees.  
serpent: This is Media.  
the way of a man with a young woman: This represents Edom, who said, “I will be a mistress forever.” [גבר is interpreted as גברת, a mistress, and בעלמה as לעולם, forever.]  
[20] So is the way of an adulterous woman: The people of Israel brought this evil upon themselves because they played the adulteress with idolatry, and they deserved that the retribution should befall them.  
[21] the earth quakes: This refers to Eretz Israel.  
and she says, “I have no committed no sin.”: As it says (Jeremiah 2:35), “Behold, I contend with you concerning because you say, I have not sinned.” (Until this point are the words of Rashi [as they appear] in Mikraoth Gedoloth.)  
under a slave: This refers to Nebuchadnezzar, who was the slave and secretary of Merodach-baladan, as appears in Hullin. [To my knowledge, this does not appear in Hullin, but in Helek, the eleventh chapter of Sanhedrin, 96a.]  
and a wretch who is sated with food: This refers to Ahasuerus, who made a banquet for one hundred and eighty days  
[23] a hated woman who is married: Corresponding to Greece.  
and a maidservant who inherits her mistress: This refers to Esau, who should have served Jacob, but the matter was reversed.  
[25] The ants are a people not strong: This refers to Babylon, as it is stated (Isa. 23:13): “Behold the land of the Chaldees, this people has never been.”  
[26] The hyraxes are a people not strong: This refers to Media and Persia.  
yet they prepare their food in the summer: [This refers to] Nebuchadnezzar, who performed one [act of] honor to the Holy One, blessed be He, in the days of Merodach-baladan, when he sent letters to Hezekiah, and wrote therein, “Peace to King Hezekiah; peace to city of Jerusalem; peace to the great God.” Nebuchadnezzar was the one who wrote his letters, but he was not there that day, and when he came and they told him what they had done, he responded, “You call Him the great God, yet you address Him last!” He ran after the messenger and brought him back. For that [act of] pursuit, he merited the kingship. This is how he “prepared his bread in the summer,” like the ant.  
yet they make their home in the rock: For they built the Temple.  
[28] The spider grasps with its hands: This refers to Esau, as it is stated (Gen. 27: 22): “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”  
in a king’s palaces: That he [Esau] entered the Temple of the King and destroyed it.  
[30] The lion is the mightiest of the beasts: This is Nebuchadnezzar, as it is stated (Jer. 4:7): The lion has come up from his thicket."  
the one who girds his loins: This refers to Media and Persia, who girded their loins and assassinated Belshazzar and seized the kingdom of Babylon.  
[31] and the he- goat: This refers to Greece, as it is stated (Dan. 8:21): “And the rough he-goat is the king of Greece.”  
and the king against whom no one dares to rise up: This is Edom, who says, “I am it, and there is none besides me.” No one opposes him. אלקום, no one stands with him.  
32. If you have been put to shame, you will be in your ascendency; and if you thought evil, put your hand to your mouth.   לב. אִם נָבַלְתָּ בְהִתְנַשֵּׂא וְאִם זַמּוֹתָ יָד לְפֶה:
If you have been put to shame, you will be in your ascendency: If you were put to shame through your speech, that you derided yourself, you will ultimately ascend in the matter.  
and if you thought evil: in your heart to quarrel, put your hand onto your mouth and remain silent.  
33. For pressing milk will give out butter, and pressing the nose will give out blood, and pressing anger will give out strife.   לג. כִּי מִיץ חָלָב יוֹצִיא חֶמְאָה וּמִיץ אַף יוֹצִיא דָם וּמִיץ אַפַּיִם יוֹצִיא רִיב:
For pressing milk: For, just as butter will come out by pressing milk and blood by pressing the nose too much, so will strife come out of pressing the nostrils of anger.  
pressing: Heb. מיץ, pressing, preindre in Old French, as in (Jud. 6:38): “and wrung (וימץ) dew, etc.” And our Sages explained (Ber. 63b): If you were put to shame because of the words of Torah, by seeking and asking your doubts of your mentor, even if you appear to him as a fool without intelligence, you will ultimately be exalted; ואם זמות, but if you placed a muzzle on your mouth and muzzled it, and you did not ask him anything, your end will be that when they ask you a matter of halachah, you will put your hand to your mouth and you will be dumb, for you will not know to reply anything about it. Just as pressing milk gives out butter, so will pressing anger that your mentor is wroth with you for not understanding readily and you were put to shame because of it, eventually bring out of your mouth after a time many (רבות) halachoth and instructions.  
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