Advice to a King
1These are the solemn words which King Lemuel's mother said to him:
2“You are my own dear son, the answer to my prayers. What shall I tell you? 3Don't spend all your energy on sex and all your money on women; they have destroyed kings. 4Listen, Lemuel. Kings should not drink wine or have a craving for alcohol. 5When they drink, they forget the laws and ignore the rights of people in need. 6Alcohol is for people who are dying, for those who are in misery. 7Let them drink and forget their poverty and unhappiness.
8“Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless. 9Speak for them and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy.”
The Capable Wife
10How hard it is to find a capable wife! She is worth far more than jewels!
11Her husband puts his confidence in her, and he will never be poor.
12As long as she lives, she does him good and never harm.
13She keeps herself busy making wool and linen cloth.
14She brings home food from out-of-the-way places, as merchant ships do.
15She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and to tell her servant women what to do.
16She looks at land and buys it, and with money she has earned she plants a vineyard.
17She is a hard worker, strong and industrious.
18She knows the value of everything she makes, and works late into the night.
19She spins her own thread and weaves her own cloth.
20She is generous to the poor and needy.
21She doesn't worry when it snows, because her family has warm clothing.
22She makes bedspreads and wears clothes of fine purple linen.
23Her husband is well known, one of the leading citizens.
24She makes clothes and belts, and sells them to merchants.
25She is strong and respected and not afraid of the future.
26She speaks with a gentle wisdom.
27She is always busy and looks after her family's needs.
28Her children show their appreciation, and her husband praises her.
29He says, “Many women are good wives, but you are the best of them all.”
30Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a woman who honours the Lord should be praised.
31Give her credit for all she does. She deserves the respect of everyone.