The Words of Lemuel
1The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him:
2What, O my son?
And what, O son of my womb?
And what, O son of my vows?
3Do not give your strength to women,
Or your ways to that which destroys kings.
4It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire strong drink,
5For they will drink and forget what is decreed,
And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to him whose life is bitter.
7Let him drink and forget his poverty
And remember his trouble no more.
8Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all the unfortunate.
9Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
Description of a Worthy Woman
10An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.