|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:7-9 Agur wisely prayed for a middle state, that he might be kept at a distance from temptations; he asked daily bread suited to his station, his family, and his real good. There is a remarkable similarity between this prayer and several clauses of the Lord's prayer. If we are removed from vanity and lies; if we are interested in the pardoning love of Christ, and have him for our portion; if we walk with God, then we shall have all we can ask or think, as to spiritual things. When we consider how those who have abundance are prone to abuse the gift, and what it is to suffer want, Agur's prayer will ever be found a wise one, though seldom offered. Food convenient; what is so for one, may not be so for another; but we may be sure that our heavenly Father will supply all our need, and not suffer us to want anything good for us; and why should we wish for more?
Verses 7-9. - A mashal ode, containing two requests, and a rationale of the latter. The matter of the two prayers connects it with ver. 6, whether we consider that the limitation of man's desire follows naturally the limitation of his knowledge (Plumptre). or that the warning against being reproved as a liar is corroborated by the prayer against vanity and lies (but see below, on ver. 9). It is the first of Agur's numerical proverbs. Verse 7. - Two things have I required of thee. The personal pronoun applies to God, who, according to our interpretation, has been invoked in ver. 1; otherwise it stands without reference to anything preceding. Deny me not before I die; i.e. grant me these two things for the rest of my life. Septuagint, "Take not grace (χάριν) from me before I die."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Two things have I required of thee,.... Or, "have asked of thee (a), O God"; as may be supplied, for the words are addressed to him. The following is a prayer made unto him, which contains the two requests here referred to; his requests are not many, his words are few; he did not make long prayers, or expect to be heard for much speaking;
deny me them not before I die; not that he thought he was near his end; nor is it his sense that he desired some time or other, at least before he died, that he might have these two requests granted him after mentioned; for what are poverty and riches, or convenient food, to a man just dying? but his meaning is, that he might be thus favoured as long as he lived; that all the while he was in the world, he might be kept from sin, and be free from anxious worldly thoughts and cares, having a moderate competency of good things: faith in prayer will have no denial; a wrestling Jacob will not let the angel go without a blessing; importunity in prayer gets much from the hands of God; "the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much", James 5:16.
(a) "postulavi a te", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Mercerus, Gejerus; "peto ab te", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "petii a te", Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7-9. A prayer for exemption from wickedness, and the extremes of poverty and riches, the two things mentioned. Contentment is implied as desired.
Proverbs 30:7 Parallel Commentaries
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