Wise Words for a King
1These are the wise sayings that King Lemuel’s mother taught him:
2I prayed for a son, and you are the son I gave birth to. 3Don’t waste your strength on women. Women destroy kings, so don’t waste yourself on them. 4Lemuel, it is not wise for kings to drink wine. It is not wise for rulers to want beer. 5They may drink too much and forget what the law says. Then they might take away the rights of the poor. 6Give beer to people without hope. Give wine to those who are in trouble. 7Let them drink to forget their troubles. Let them forget they are poor.
8Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Help people who are in trouble. 9Stand up for what you know is right, and judge all people fairly. Protect the rights of the poor and those who need help.
The Perfect Wife
10 # 31:10-31 In Hebrew, each verse of this poem starts with the next letter of the alphabet, so this poem shows all the good qualities of a woman “from A to Z.” How hard it is to find the perfect wife.#31:10 the perfect wife Or “a noble woman.”
She is worth far more than jewels.
11Her husband depends on her.
He will never be poor.
12She does good for her husband all her life.
She never causes him trouble.
13She is always gathering wool and flax#31:13 flax A plant used to make linen cloth.
and enjoys making things with her hands.
14She is like a ship from a faraway place.
She brings home food from everywhere.
15She wakes up early in the morning,
cooks food for her family, and gives the servants their share.
16She looks at land and buys it.
She uses the money she has earned and plants a vineyard.
17She works very hard.
She is strong and able to do all her work.
18She works late into the night
to make sure her business earns a profit.
19She makes her own thread
and weaves her own cloth.
20She always gives to the poor
and helps those who need it.
21She does not worry about her family when it snows.
She has given them all good, warm clothes.
22She makes sheets and spreads for the beds,
and she wears clothes of fine linen.
23Her husband is a respected member of the city council,
where he meets with the other leaders.
24She makes clothes and belts
and sells them to the merchants.
25She is a strong person,#31:25 She is a strong person Or “She is praised.” and people respect her.
She looks to the future with confidence.
26She speaks with wisdom
and teaches others to be loving and kind.
27She oversees the care of her house.
She is never lazy.
28Her children say good things about her.
Her husband brags about her and says,
29“There are many good women,
but you are the best.”
30Grace and beauty can fool you,
but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
31Give her the reward she deserves.
Praise her in public for what she has done.