1The words of king Lemuel; the revelation which his mother taught him.
2“Oh, my son!
Oh, son of my womb!
Oh, son of my vows!
3Don’t give your strength to women,
nor your ways to that which destroys kings.
4It is not for kings, Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
nor for princes to say, ‘Where is strong drink?’
5lest they drink, and forget the law,
and pervert the justice due to anyone who is afflicted.
6Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish,
and wine to the bitter in soul.
7Let him drink, and forget his poverty,
and remember his misery no more.
8Open your mouth for the mute,
in the cause of all who are left desolate.
9Open your mouth, judge righteously,
and serve justice to the poor and needy.”
10 # 31:10 Proverbs 31:10-31 form an acrostic, with each verse starting with each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in order. Who can find a worthy woman?
For her price is far above rubies.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her.
He shall have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works eagerly with her hands.
14She is like the merchant ships.
She brings her bread from afar.
15She rises also while it is yet night,
gives food to her household,
and portions for her servant girls.
16She considers a field, and buys it.
With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard.
17She arms her waist with strength,
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp doesn’t go out by night.
19She lays her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her arms to the poor;
yes, she extends 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 for herself carpets of tapestry.
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is respected in the gates,
when he sits amongst the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
and delivers sashes to the merchant.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing.
She laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom.
Kind instruction is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household,
and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed.
Her husband also praises her:
29“Many women do noble things,
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 of the fruit of her hands!
Let her works praise her in the gates!