The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance. This man’s utterance to Ithiel:“I am weary, God, but I can prevail. Surely I am only a brute, not a man; I do not have human understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One. 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! Proverbs 30:1-4
The proverb starts out with an interesting confession…”I am only a brute, not a man”. The diffference apparently being in the possession of “human understanding” — the logos that comes from God –the “knowledge of the Holy One”. The writer then goes on to describe in some detail the kernel of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The “Holy One” is apparently God the Father and He clearly has a son whose name we can know. This God who became man has “gone up to heaven and come down”. He has crossed the great divide between this land of oblivion and the undiscovered country. This sounds like the incarnation and resurrection to me.
His hands have “gathered up the wind”. Jesus did some amazing “wind gathering” for his disciples on the Sea of Galilee when he calmed the storm and quelled the waves so Peter could walk on water (Mark 4:35). I like this imagery for God…the great wind gatherer taking the stormy times of our lives and calming the storm.
The Holy One “has wrapped up the waters in a cloak”. I have chewed and prayed over this part of the passage for a while and I am not sure I fully understand the analogy or metaphor. One way to look at it would be to invoke the same water language for God that has been using up to this point…a cloud or godly condensate. If we take this to be true then to “wrap the waters in a cloak” could be a reference to God taking on human form and walking the earth in a human-shaped “cloak” named Jesus. This may be a stretch and I may be totally off in left field, but it is an interesting way to look at it.
The end of the passage asks two very important questions: “who has established the ends of the earth?” and “what is his name, and what is the name of this son?” The answer to the first question is God the Father..the great I am. The one who was, who is, and who is to come. His name is Yahweh. His son Jesus is the one whose ways here on earth I follow and emulate. This passage is truly a hidden well that has changed the way I look at the book of proverbs.
Prayer: God thank You for wrapping yourself in an earthly cloak to show us the way.