Proverbs 30:7
Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) Two things have I required of thee.—The commencement of a series of numerical proverbs. (See above on Proverbs 6:16.)

Before I die—i.e., while life lasts.

Proverbs 30:7-8. Two things have I required of thee — I do most earnestly and especially desire: deny me them not — Hebrew, אל תמנע ממני, withhold them not from me; before I die — That is, while I live, as being things of great and continual necessity, for thy honour and service, and my own good. Remove far from me — From my heart, and from the course of my life: vanity — That Isaiah , 1 st, All false and vain opinions, namely, concerning God and things divine; all unbelief, idolatry, and superstition: and, 2d, Vanity of heart and life; a vain conversation, or the love of the vain things of this world; and lies — All falsehood and deceit in my words and actions, and in my conduct toward God or men. This is the first of Agur’s petitions. Give me neither poverty nor riches — This is his second request, which may seem to have some reference to the former, poverty being commonly an occasion of, or temptation to, the sin of lying; and riches being the great occasions of, and enticements to, vanity. Thus, as his first petition was against the sins themselves, so this latter is against the occasions of them. Feed me with food convenient for me — Moderate and suitable, both to my natural necessities and to that condition of life in which thou hast placed me. And this mediocrity of condition is so amiable, that it has often been desired by wise heathen as more eligible than a state of the greatest plenty and glory.

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?Two things - The limitation of man's desires follows naturally upon his consciousness of the limits of his knowledge. 7-9. A prayer for exemption from wickedness, and the extremes of poverty and riches, the two things mentioned. Contentment is implied as desired. Have I required; I do earnestly and especially desire Deny me them not before I die, Heb.

withhold them not from me before I die, i.e. whilst I live, as things of great and continual necessity for thy honour and service, and my own good.

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.

Two {e} things have I required of thee; deny them not to me before I die:

(e) He makes this request to God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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." Proverbs 30:7In what now follows, the key-note struck in Proverbs 30:1 is continued. There follows a prayer to be kept in the truth, and to be preserved in the middle state, between poverty and riches. It is a Mashal-ode, vid., vol. i. p. 12. By the first prayer, "vanity and lies keep far from me," it is connected with the warning of Proverbs 30:6.

7 Two things I entreat from Thee,

   Refuse them not to me before Idie.

8 Vanity and lies keep far away from me

   Poverty and riches give me not:

   Cause me to eat the bread which is allotted to me,

9 Lest in satiety Ideny,

   And say: Who is Jahve?

   And lest, in becoming poor, Isteal,

   And profane the name of my God.

We begin with the settlement and explanation of the traditional punctuation. A monosyllable like שׁוא receives, if Legarmeh, always Mehuppach Legarmeh, while, on the contrary, the poly-syllable אשׂבּע has Asla Legarmeh. אל־תּתּן־לי, with double Makkeph and with Gaja in the third syllable before the tone (after the Metheg-Setzung, 28), is Ben-Asher's; whereas Ben-Naphtali prefers the punctuation אל־תּתּן לי (vid., Baer's Genesis, p. 79, note 3). Also פּן־אשׂבּע has (cf. פּן־ישׁתּה, Proverbs 31:5) Makkeph, and on the antepenultima Gaja (vid., Thorath Emeth, p. 32). The perf. consec. וכחשׁתּי has on the ult. the disjunctive Zinnor (Sarka), which always stands over the final letter; but that the ult. is also to be accented, is shown by the counter-tone Metheg, which is to be given to the first syllable. Also ואמרתּי has in correct Codd., e.g., Cod. 1294, the correct ultima toning of a perf. consec.; Kimchi in the Michlol 6b, as well as Aben Ezra in both of his Grammars, quotes only וגנבתּי ותפשׂתּי as toned on the penult. That וגנבתּי cannot be otherwise toned on account of the pausal accent, has been already remarked under 6b; the word, besides, belongs to the סף''פתתין בא, i.e., to those which preserve their Pathach unlengthened by one of the greater disjunctives; the Athnach has certainly in the three so-called metrical books only the disjunctive form of the Zakeph of the prose books. So much as to the form of the text.

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