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Proverbs 30 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Proverbs 30 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,

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 hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?

5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

"Every word of God is pure."
Well then, the Bible must not be the word of God. See Ezek.23:20 and Mal.2:3 for just two examples of the "pure word of God."
Is every word of God pure?
I really wish the bar for pure speak on television was this low. But both Ezek. 23:30 and Mal. 2:3 do not contain any impure words. But the word pure here refers especially to the purity of gold or silver. God's word is entirely God's word. God's word is not contained in it, but it is it wholly.

6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

The New World Translation inserts the word 'other' four times in Col.1:16-17 (although it is not included in the Greek) to support the Governing Body's denial of the divinity of Christ.
I concur with the author of the SAB here. But the Jehovah's witnesses are not Christians and actually believe very little of the Bible.

7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:

8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

10 Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

13 There is a generation, O 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 horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:

16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.

17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

If you mock your father or disobey your mother, the ravens will pick out your eyeballs and the eagles will eat them. What the Bible says about children
What would be a suitable punishment for children that mock their parents? None? But Agur says here that such behavior will be punished by a righteous and all-seeing God. Such persons will come to an untimely death and ignominious death.

18 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

(30:18-19) One of the four "wonderful" things is "the way of a man with a maid." (As a sailor and birdwatcher, though, I have to agree that the way an eagle flies and a ship sails are two of the most wonderfull things.)
The meaning of “Too wonderful for me” is not that it is wonderful as the author of the SAB has it, but that it is:

above his reach and comprehension; what he could not find out, nor account for, nor sufficiently admire;

John Gill comments on the way of a man with a maid:

The many artful ways and methods he uses to get into her company, who is kept recluse; and to convey the sentiments and affections of his heart unto her, to gain her love to him, and obtain her in an honorable way of marriage; or to decoy and deceive her, and draw her into impure and unlawful embraces: it may design the private and secret way of committing fornication with her; which sense seems to be confirmed by verse 20.

20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

Adulterous women eat, wipe their mouths, and say "what a good girl am I."
John Gill comments:

It is equally unknown as the way of a man with a maid; it is difficult to detect her, she takes so much care and caution, and uses so many artful methods to conceal her wickedness from her husband; though she lives in adultery, it is in a most private manner, and carried on so secretly and artfully that she is not easily discovered;

21 For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:

22 For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;

23 For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

(30:21, 23) One of the four things that the earth cannot bear is: an odious woman when she is married."
The key phrase is “when she is married.” Before that such a woman conceals who she is, but once married she no longer hides her odious personality.
The author of the SAB calls this verse women-unfriendly, but the previous verse is clearly about men, and the fool is an he. Why isn't that men-unfriendly?

24 There be 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 meat in the summer;

26 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;

27 The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;

28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.

29 There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:

30 A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;

31 A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

32 If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.

33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

"The wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood."
In the original Hebrew the same word is used three times. I prefer therefore the translation in the RSV: pressing the nose produces blood. And it can be readily observed if someone receives a blow to the nose.