31
What King Lemuel's Mother Taught Him
1These are the sayings
that King Lemuel of Massa
was taught by his mother.
2My son Lemuel, you were born
in answer to my prayers,
so listen carefully.
3Don't waste your life
chasing after women!
This has ruined many kings.
4Kings and leaders
should not get drunk
or even want to drink.
5Drinking makes you forget
your responsibilities,
and you mistreat the poor.
6Beer and wine are only
for the dying or for those
who have lost all hope.
7Let them drink and forget
how poor and miserable
they feel.
8But you must defend
those who are helpless
and have no hope.
9Be fair and give justice
to the poor and homeless.
In Praise of a Good Wife
10A truly good wife
is the most precious treasure
a man can find!
11Her husband depends on her,
and she never
lets him down.
12She is good to him
every day of her life,
13and with her own hands
she gladly makes clothes.
14She is like a sailing ship
that brings food
from across the sea.
15She gets up before daylight
to prepare food for her family
and for her servants.#31.15 and … servants: Or “and to tell her servants what to do.”
16She knows how to buy land
and how to plant a vineyard,
17and she always works hard.
18She knows when to buy or sell,
and she stays busy
until late at night.
19She spins her own cloth,
20and she helps the poor
and the needy.
21Her family has warm clothing,
and so she doesn't worry
when it snows.
22She does her own sewing,
and everything she wears
is beautiful.
23Her husband is a well-known
and respected leader
in the city.
24She makes clothes to sell
to the shop owners.
25She is strong and graceful,#31.25 She … graceful: Or “The clothes she makes are attractive and of good quality.”
as well as cheerful
about the future.
26Her words are sensible,
and her advice
is thoughtful.
27She takes good care
of her family
and is never lazy.
28Her children praise her,
and with great pride
her husband says,
29“There are many good women,
but you are the best!”
30Charm can be deceiving,
and beauty fades away,
but a woman
who honors the Lord
deserves to be praised.
31Show her respect—
praise her in public
for what she has done.
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