The man’s oration to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:[b]
2 I am more stupid than any other man,[c] and I lack man’s ability to understand. 3 I have not gained wisdom, and I have no knowledge of the Holy One. 4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His hands? Who has bound up the waters in a cloak? 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;[d] He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Don’t add to His words, or He will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.
7 Two things I ask of You; don’t deny them to me before I die: 8 Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty nor wealth; feed me with the food I need. 9 Otherwise, I might have too much and deny You, saying, “Who is the Lord?” or I might have nothing and steal, profaning[e] the name of my God.
10 Don’t slander a servant to his master or he will curse you, and you will become guilty.
11 There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother. 12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filth. 13 There is a generation—how haughty its eyes and pretentious its looks.[f] 14 There is a generation whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, devouring the oppressed from the land and the needy from among mankind.
15 The leech has two daughters: “Give, Give!” Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough!”: 16 Sheol; a childless womb; earth, which is never satisfied with water; and fire, which never says, “Enough!”
17 As for the eye that ridicules a father and despises obedience to a mother, may ravens of the valley pluck it out and young vultures eat it.
18 Three things are beyond me; four I can’t understand: 19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship at sea, and the way of a man with a young woman.
20 This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
21 The earth trembles under three things; it cannot bear up under four: 22 a servant when he becomes king, a fool when he is stuffed with food, 23 an unloved woman when she marries, and a servant girl when she ousts her queen.
24 Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: 25 the ants are not a strong people, yet they store up their food in the summer; 26 hyraxes are not a mighty people, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; 27 locusts have no king, yet all of them march in ranks; 28 a lizard[g] can be caught in your hands, yet it lives in kings’ palaces.
29 Three things are stately in their stride, even four are stately in their walk: 30 a lion, which is mightiest among beasts and doesn’t retreat before anything, 31 a strutting rooster,[h] a goat, and a king at the head of his army.[i]
32 If you have been foolish by exalting yourself or if you’ve been scheming, put your hand over your mouth. 33 For the churning of milk produces butter, and twisting a nose draws blood, and stirring up anger produces strife.