- For the modern village in Israel, see Agur, Israel.
Agur ben Jakeh (Hebrew: אגור בן יקה) was the compiler of a collection of proverbs found in Proverbs 30, which is sometimes known as the Book of Agur or Sayings of Agur. The initial text of the chapter runs as follows (JPS translation), and bears great similarity to Isaiah 40:12-14. This translation is not universally accepted as correct; see below.
The words of Agur son of Jakeh, [man of] Massa (המשא); The speech of the man to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal: "I am brutish, less than a man; I lack common sense. I have not learned wisdom, Nor do I possess knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hand? Who has wrapped the waters in his garment? Who has established all the extremities of the earth? What is his name or his son's name, if you know it?"— Proverbs 30:1–4
The text (ver. 1) seems to say that he was a "Massaite," the gentilic termination not being indicated in the traditional writing "Ha-Massa." This place has been identified by some Assyriologists with the land of Mash, a district between Judea and Babylonia, and the traces of nomadic or seminomadic life and thought found in Gen. 31and 32 give some support to the hypothesis. Heinrich Graetz, followed by Bickell and Cheyne, conjectures that the original reading is המשל ("Ha-Moshel," = "the collector of proverbs"). The true explanation is still uncertain.