Proverbs 30:9 MEANING

Proverbs 30:9
(9) Lest I be full, and deny thee.--For "pride and fulness of bread" were among the sins which brought destruction on Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49). (Comp. Job 21:14-15.)

And take the name of my God in vain.--Literally, handle it roughly, irreverently; particularly in finding fault with His providence.

Verse 9. - The reason for the latter prayer follows, unless, as some consider, the prayer is one, as if Agur asked, "Take from me riches which lead to vanity, and poverty which leads to lying and deceit." In this case the ground of the request would embrace both parts of the petition. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord (Jehovah)? Great wealth and temporal prosperity tempt to forgetfulness of God, to self-confidence and practical unbelief in Divine providence. Like Pharaoh, the haughty rich man asks with scorn, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?" (Exodus 5:2; comp. Deuteronomy 8:12, etc.; Job 21:14, etc.; Psalm 14:1). Septuagint, "Lest being filled I become false, and say, Who seeth me?" Or lest I be poor, and steal; lest my necessities lead to dishonesty. And take the name of my God in vain. The verb taphas means "to grasp at, seize violently, handle roughly," and the sin intended may be either false swearing in denial of his theft and to escape punishment, or the arraignment of God's providence which has allowed him to fall into such distress. Titus Isaiah 8:21, "They shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry; and it shall come to pass that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God." In view of the proverbs that follow, the clause seems to be best taken of the blasphemy attending on impatience and want of resignation to God's will (comp. Proverbs 19:3).

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?Lest I be full, and deny thee,.... This is the dangerous consequence of riches, and the temptation they expose men unto; who, being full of the things of this world, are tempted to deny the Lord; not his being and perfections directly, but chiefly his providence; to deny that what they have, they have received of him, but attribute it to their own care, diligence, and industry; and now think they can live without him, without any dependence on his providence, having a large affluence of the things of life: yea, they may be said to deny him, when they forget the bounties of his providence; are not thankful to him for them; that flatter themselves with a continuance of them, without any regard to him, as if he had no concern in the affairs of life; see Deuteronomy 32:15;

and say, Who is the Lord? as Pharaoh did, Exodus 5:2. I am not obliged to him; I can live without him, I have enough of my own;

or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain; this is the snare that attends poverty; men, for want of food and raiment, are tempted to steal from their neighbours, which is a sin against the law of God, the eighth command; and then to cover the theft, when an oath is offered to purge them from the charge and suspicion of it, they take it, and so are guilty of false swearing, or taking the name of God not only in vain, but falsely, and so become guilty of the breach of the third command. Agur, a good man, is desirous he might not be exposed to temptations to such evils, and especially which so affected the honour and glory of God.

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