1The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
2What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
3Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
5Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.#pervert: Heb. alter#of any…: Heb. of all the sons of affliction
6Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.#of…: Heb. bitter of soul
7Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
8Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.#such…: Heb. the sons of destruction
9Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.#buyeth: Heb. taketh
17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.#She…: Heb. She tasteth
19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.#She…: Heb. She spreadeth
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.#scarlet: or, double garments
22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.#have…: or, have gotten riches
30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.