1The words of king Lemuel; the oracle which his mother taught him.
2What, my son? and what, O son of my womb,
And what, O son of my vows?
3Give not thy strength unto women,
Nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
4It is not for kings, O 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 judgement of any that is afflicted.
6Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish,
And wine unto the bitter in soul:
7Let him drink, and forget his poverty,
And remember his misery no more.
8Open thy mouth for the dumb,
In the cause of all such as are left desolate.
9Open thy mouth, judge righteously,
And minister judgement to the poor and needy.
10A virtuous woman who can find?
For her price is far above rubies.
11The heart of her husband trusteth in her,
And he shall have no lack of gain.
12She doeth him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13She seeketh wool and flax,
And worketh willingly with her hands.
14She is like the merchant-ships;
She bringeth her food from afar.
15She riseth also while it is yet night,
And giveth meat to her household,
And their task to her maidens.
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it:
With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17She girdeth her loins with strength,
And maketh strong her arms.
18She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable:
Her lamp goeth not out by night.
19She layeth her hands to the distaff,
And her hands hold the spindle.
20She spreadeth out her hand to the poor;
Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household;
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24She maketh linen garments and selleth them;
And delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing;
And she laugheth at the time to come.
26She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
And the law of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looketh well to the ways of her household,
And eateth not the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up, and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying:
29Many daughters have done virtuously,
But thou excellest them all.
30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain:
But a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands;
And let her works praise her in the gates.