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Contrast in Wisdom: Wise words from an ignorant man (31 of 32)
Series: The Book of Proverbs
1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, [even] the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,
The name Agur means, gatherer. He was the son of Jakeh, meaning, blameless. Evidently, Agur was a prophet, and he was described as a man, meaning a strong man, probably a man of character, who spoke this oracle to Ithiel and Ucal. These are 2 unknown individuals. The only other individual named Ithiel was a Benjamite, during the time of Nehemiah. The message described in this first verse is called a prophecy. The prophetical instruction was commonly called their prophecies.
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.
I believe what he's said here was that he was an ignorant man, even the most ignorant man, and recognized that without God's wisdom he would stay that way. Now if that was true of a prophet then how much the more was this true of those who were not? The point should be obvious to us all.
Being a human with all of its weaknesses and failings at wisdom, should cause one to be dependent upon God for it. When he said, I neither learned wisdom, it could mean, that he was not fit to teach it, nor did he have the full understanding of God or of His wisdom. It would seem to me that Agur spoke this way about himself as he contrasted what little he knew compared to the greatness of God and of His wisdom.
Whenever we see ourselves from God's point of view we should see our absolute insignificance without Him and of His great significance. In his humility he saw the greatness of God and in His greatness he understood the essence of true worship. He explained the contrast in the following verses.
4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? ...
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