Proverbs 30:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped 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? Surely you know!

New Living Translation
Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name--and his son's name? Tell me if you know!

English Standard Version
Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!

New American Standard Bible
Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know!

King James Bible
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?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
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?

International Standard Version
Who has ascended to heaven, and then descended? Who has collected the wind in his hands? Who has wrapped up waters in a garment? Who has established all the farthest points of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!

NET Bible
Who has ascended into heaven, and then descended? Who has gathered up the winds in his fists? Who has bound up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name?--if you know!

New Heart English Bible
Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if you know?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He said to me: “Who went up to Heaven and came down, and who is holding the wind in his palms? Who has bound the waters in a napkin and who has established all the ends of the Earth? What is his Name, and what is his Son's Name, if you know?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in the palm of his hand? Who has wrapped water in a garment? Who has set up the earth from one end to the other? What is his name or the name of his son? Certainly, you must know!

JPS Tanakh 1917
Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest?

New American Standard 1977
Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
            Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
            Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
            Who has established all the ends of the earth?
            What is His name or His son’s name?
            Surely you know!

Jubilee Bible 2000
Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? who has gathered the wind in his fists? who has bound the waters in a garment? who has established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?

King James 2000 Bible
Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? who has gathered the wind in his fists? who has bound the waters in a garment? who has established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if you can tell?

American King James Version
Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? who has gathered the wind in his fists? who has bound the waters in a garment? who has established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if you can tell?

American Standard Version
Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? who hath held the wind in his hands? who hath bound up the waters together as in a garment? who hath raised up all the borders of the earth? what is his name, and what is the name of his son, if thou knowest?

Darby Bible Translation
Who hath ascended up into the heavens, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a mantle? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest?

English Revised Version
Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in his garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest?

Webster's Bible Translation
Who hath ascended 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?

World English Bible
Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if you know?

Young's Literal Translation
Who went up to heaven, and cometh down? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound waters in a garment? Who established all ends of the earth? What is His name? and what His son's name? Surely thou knowest!
Study Bible
The Words of Agur
3Neither have I learned wisdom, Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One. 4Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know! 5Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.…
Cross References
John 3:13
No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven--the Son of Man.

Ephesians 4:8
This is why it says: "When He ascended on high, He led captives away, and gave gifts to men."

Revelation 19:12
He has eyes like blazing fire, and many royal crowns on His head. He has a name written on Him that only He Himself knows.

Exodus 15:10
"You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters.

Job 26:8
"He wraps up the waters in His clouds, And the cloud does not burst under them.

Job 38:4
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,

Job 38:8
"Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;

Job 38:9
When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band,

Psalm 24:2
For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the rivers.

Psalm 68:18
You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there.
Treasury of Scripture

Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? who has gathered the wind in his fists? who has bound the waters in a garment? who has established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if you can tell?

who hath ascended

Deuteronomy 30:12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us …

John 3:13 And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from …

Romans 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say …

Ephesians 4:9,10 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first …

who hath gathered

Job 38:4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, …

Psalm 104:2 Who cover yourself with light as with a garment: who stretch out …

Isaiah 40:2 Speak you comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry to her, that her warfare …

Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare …

what is his name

Genesis 32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray you, your name. And …

Judges 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said to him, Why ask you thus after my …

Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; …

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin …

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government …

Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: …

Matthew 1:21-23 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: …

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows the …

Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows who …

(4) Who hath ascended up into heaven . . .--The reason of Agur's sadness is here declared. He feels himself far off from possessing anything that may be called knowledge of God or of His works. (Comp. Galatians 4:9; 1Corinthians 13:12.) The questions in this verse are intended to bring out the nothingness of man as compared with the might of the Creator of the Universe; they resemble Job 38-41, and Isaiah 40:12 sqq.

Who hath bound the waters in a garment?--Stretching out the clouds as a "curtain" (Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22), to keep the rain from falling upon the earth. (Comp. Job 26:8.)

What is his name?--We may call Him the Self-existing (Jehovah), Powerful (Shaddai), Strong (El). Awful (Eloah) Being; we may describe Him as merciful, gracious, etc. (Exodus 34:5 sqq.), but no words will describe Him adequately, for not till the next life shall we see Him as He is (1John 3:2), and He has been pleased to reveal Himself only partially to us.

What is his son's name?--See the description of wisdom in Proverbs 8:22 sqq., and the notes there.

Verse 4. - The questions contained in this verse are such as compelled Agur to acknowledge his ignorance and nothingness before the thought of the glory and power of the great Creator. We may compare Job 38, etc. Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who is he that hath his seat in heaven, and doeth works on earth? Who is he whose universal providence is felt and experienced? Where is this mysterious Being who hides himself from human ken? Christ has said something like this, "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13); and St. Paul (Ephesians 4:9). In biblical language God is said to come down from heaven in order to punish, to aid, to reveal his will, etc. (Genesis 11:7; Psalm 18:9, etc.); and he returns to heaven when this intervention is finished (Genesis 17:22; Genesis 35:13). Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath the control of the viewless wind, so as to restrain it or release it at his pleasure? (Psalm 135:7; Amos 4:13). Septuagint, "Who hath gathered the winds in his bosom (κόλῳ)?" Who hath bound the waters in a garment? The waters are the clouds which cover the vault of heaven, and are held, as it were, in a garment, so that, in spite of the weight which they contain, they fall not upon the earth. As Job says (Job 26:8), "He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them." And again (Job 38:37), "Who can number the clouds by wisdom? or who can pour out the bottles of heaven?" So the psalmist, "Thou coveredst it [the earth] with the deep as with a vesture" (Psalm 104:6). (See above, Proverbs 8:27, etc.) Who hath established all the ends of the earth? Who hath consolidated the foundations, and defined the limits, of the remotest regions of the earth? (comp. Job 38:4, etc.). The answer to these four questions is "Almighty God." He alone can order and control the forces of nature. What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell? or, if thou knowest. It is not enough to acknowledge the power and operation and providence of this mysterious Being; Agur longs to know more of his nature, his essence. He must have personality; he is not an abstraction, a force, a quality; he is a Person. What, then, is his name, the name which expresses what he is in himself? Men have different appellations for this Supreme Being, according as they regard one or other of his attributes: is there one name that comprehends all, which gives an adequate account of the incomprehensible Creator? The question cannot be answered affirmatively in this life. "We know that if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is" (1 John 3:2). The further question, "What is his son's name?" has given some difficulty. The LXX. has, "What is the name of his children (τοῖς τέκνοις αὐτοῦ)?" as if there was reference to Israel, the special children of God. But the original does not bear out this interpretation, which is also opposed to the idea of the enigma proposed. The inquiry might mean - Are we to apply to the Supreme Being the same notion of natural relationship with which we are familiar in the human family? But this seems a low and unworthy conception. Or the "son" might be primeval man (Job 15:7) or the sage; but the answer would not be satisfactory, and would not tend to solve the great question. There are two replies which can be made to Agur's interrogation. Looking to the marvellous description of Wisdom in Proverbs 8:22, etc., we may consider Wisdom to be a denotation of the Son of God, and the inquirer desires to know the name and nature of this personage, of whose existence he was certified. Or he may have arrived at a knowledge of the only begotten Son of God, as the idea of the Logos is more or less developed in the Book of Wisdom, in Philo's treatises, and in the Alexandrian school; and longs for more perfect knowledge. This, indeed, is hidden: "He hath name written, which no one knoweth but he himself" (Revelation 19:12). It is useless to put such question to a fellow man; no human mind can fathom the nature of the Godhead, or trace out its operations (Ecclus. 18:4, etc.). Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?.... That has been thither to fetch knowledge of God and divine things, and has returned to communicate it. Enoch was taken up to heaven before this time: and Elijah, as is very probable, after; but neither of them returned again, to inform mortals what was to be seen, known, and enjoyed there: since, the Apostle Paul was caught up into the third heaven, and came back again; but then the things he heard were such as it was not lawful for a man to utter: and indeed, since the coming of Christ there is no need of any further revelation to be made nor of any such expedition, in order to obtain it, Romans 10:6. And, properly speaking, there never was any besides him, whose names are Ithiel and Ucal, that ever did this: he lay in the bosom of the Father, and was privy to his whole mind and will; he descended from heaven to earth not by local motion, but, by assumption of nature; and when he had made known his Father's will, and done his work, he ascended far above all heavens, and received gifts for men; to fill his churches and ministers with them, in order to communicate and improve spiritual and divine knowledge; and therefore, with great propriety and pertinence, he applies these words to himself, John 3:13;

who hath gathered the wind in his fists? not any mere creature; not any man or set of men; it is not in the power of any, either men or angels, to restrain or let loose the winds at pleasure; nor has Satan, though called the prince of the power of the air, that is, of the devils in the air, any such command of them; none but he that made them can command them to blow, or be still; even he who brings them out of his treasures, and his own son, whom the wind and seas obeyed; see Psalm 135:7; The Heathens (w) themselves are so sensible of this, that the power of the winds only belongs to God, that they have framed a deity they call Aeolus; whom the supreme Being has made a kind of steward or store keeper of the winds, and given him a power to still or raise them as he pleases (x);

who hath bound the waters in a garment? either the waters above, which are bound in the thick clouds as in a garment which hold them from pouring out; or the waters of the sea, which are as easily managed by the Lord as an infant by its parent, and is wrapped about with a swaddling band, Job 26:8. But can any creature do this? none but the mighty God; and his almighty Son the Ithiel and Ucal, who clothes the heavens with blackness, and makes sackcloth their covering: even he who is the Redeemer of this people, and has the tongue of the learned, to speak a word in season to them Isaiah 50:2;

who hath established all the ends of the earth? fixed the boundaries of the several parts of the world, Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, and the several countries in them? settled the foundations of the earth, and secured the banks and borders of it from the raging of the sea? None but these next mentioned; see Job 38:4;

what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell? if thou surest it is a mere man that does all these things tell his name; or, if he be dead, say what is the name of his son or of any of his family; so Jarchi and others interpret it: or rather, since it is the Lord alone and his own proper Son, to whom these things can he ascribed say what is his name; that is, his nature and perfections which are incomprehensible and ineffable; otherwise he is known by his name Jehovah and especially as his name is proclaimed in Christ and manifested by him and in his Gospel: and seeing he has a son of the same nature with him, and possessed of the same perfections, co-essential, and co-existent, and every way equal to him, and a distinct person from him, say what is his nature and perfections also; declare his generation and the manner of it; his divine filiation, and in what class it is; things which are out of the reach of human capacity, and not to be expressed by the tongue of men and angels; see Matthew 11:27. Otherwise, though his name for a while was a secret, and he was only called the seed of the woman and of Abraham, Genesis 3:15; yet he had many names given him under the Old Testament; as Shiloh, Immanuel, the Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and Prince of peace; the Lord our righteousness, and the Man, the Branch: and under the New Testament, Jesus the Saviour, Christ the Anointed; the Head of the church, the Judge of the world; the Word of God, and King of kings, and Lord of lords. This Scripture is a proof of Christ's being the eternal Son of God; of his equality with his divine Father as such, their name and nature being alike ineffable; of his co-existence with his Father as such; and of his omnipresence and omnipotence, expressed by the phrases here used of ascending, &c. and of his distinct personality from the Father; the same question being distinctly put of him as of the Father. Some render the last clause, "dost thou know?" (y) thou dost not know God and his Son, their being and perfections are not to be known by the light of nature, only by revelation, and but imperfectly.

(w) , &c. Homer. Odyss. 10. v. 21, 22. "Aeole, namque tibi divum pater atque hominum rex, et mulcere dedit fluctus, et tollere vento", Virgil Aeneid. l. v. 69, 70. (x) See a Sermon of mine, called "Christ the Saviour from the Tempest", p. 17, 18. (y) "ad nosti?" Noldius, p. 393. No. 1337. 30:4, there is a prophetic notice of Him who came down from heaven to be our Instructor and Saviour, and then ascended into heaven to be our Advocate. The Messiah is here spoken of as a Person distinct from the Father, but his name as yet secret. The great Redeemer, in the glories of his providence and grace, cannot be found out to perfection. Had it not been for Christ, the foundations of the earth had sunk under the load of the curse upon the ground, for man's sin. Who, and what is the mighty One that doeth all this? There is not the least ground to suspect anything wanting in the word of God; adding to his words opens the way to errors and corruptions.
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