1The words of King L’mu’el, the prophecy with which his mother disciplined him:
2No, my son! No, son of my womb!
No, son of my vows!
3Don’t give your strength to women
or your ways to that which destroys kings.
4It is not for kings, L’mu’el,
not for kings to drink wine;
it is not for rulers to ask,
“Where can I find strong liquor?”
5For they may drink, then forget what has been decreed,
and pervert the justice due to the poor.
6Give strong liquor to one who is perishing,
wine to the deeply depressed;
7let him drink, forget his poverty
and cease to remember his troubles.
8Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who need an advocate.
9Speak up, judge righteously,
defend the cause of the poor and the needy.
א 10Who can find a capable wife?
Her value is far beyond that of pearls.
ב 11Her husband trusts her from his heart,
and she will prove a great asset to him.
ג 12She works to bring him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
ד 13She procures a supply of wool and flax
and works with willing hands.
ה 14She is like those merchant vessels,
bringing her food from far away.
ו 15It’s still dark when she rises to give food to her household
and orders to the young women serving her.
ז 16She considers a field, then buys it,
and from her earnings she plants a vineyard.
ח 17She gathers her strength around her
and throws herself into her work.
ט 18She sees that her business affairs go well;
her lamp stays lit at night.
י 19She puts her hands to the staff with the flax;
her fingers hold the spinning rod.
כ 20She reaches out to embrace the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
ל 21When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
since all of them are doubly clothed.
מ 22She makes her own quilts;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
נ 23Her husband is known at the city gates
when he sits with the leaders of the land.
ס 24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she supplies the merchants with sashes.
ע 25Clothed with strength and dignity,
she can laugh at the days to come.
פ 26When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely;
on her tongue is loving instruction.
צ 27She watches how things go in her house,
not eating the bread of idleness.
ק 28Her children arise; they make her happy;
her husband too, as he praises her:
ר 29“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you surpass them all!”
ש 30Charm can lie, beauty can vanish,
but a woman who fears Adonai should be praised.
ת 31Give her a share in what she produces;
let her works speak her praises at the city gates.