Wise Words of King Lemuel
1These are the words of King Lemuel, the message his mother taught him:
2“My son, I gave birth to you.
You are the son I prayed for.
3Don’t waste your strength on women
or your time on those who ruin kings.
4“Kings should not drink wine, Lemuel,
and rulers should not desire beer.
5If they drink, they might forget the law
and keep the needy from getting their rights.
6Give beer to people who are dying
and wine to those who are sad.
7Let them drink and forget their need
and remember their misery no more.
8“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
defend the rights of all those who have nothing.
9Speak up and judge fairly,
and defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
The Good Wife
10It is hard to find a good wife,
because she is worth more than rubies.
11Her husband trusts her completely.
With her, he has everything he needs.
12She does him good and not harm
for as long as she lives.
13She looks for wool and flax
and likes to work with her hands.
14She is like a trader’s ship,
bringing food from far away.
15She gets up while it is still dark
and prepares food for her family
and feeds her servant girls.
16She inspects a field and buys it.
With money she earned, she plants a vineyard.
17She does her work with energy,
and her arms are strong.
18She knows that what she makes is good.
Her lamp burns late into the night.
19She makes thread with her hands
and weaves her own cloth.
20She welcomes the poor
and helps the needy.
21She does not worry about her family when it snows,
because they all have fine clothes to keep them warm.
22She makes coverings for herself;
her clothes are made of linen and other expensive material.
23Her husband is known at the city meetings,
where he makes decisions as one of the leaders of the land.
24She makes linen clothes and sells them
and provides belts to the merchants.
25She is strong and is respected by the people.
She looks forward to the future with joy.
26She speaks wise words
and teaches others to be kind.
27She watches over her family
and never wastes her time.
28Her children speak well of her.
Her husband also praises her,
29saying, “There are many fine women,
but you are better than all of them.”
30Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you,
but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
31Give her the reward she has earned;
she should be praised in public for what she has done.