Words of King Lemuel
1The words of King Lemuel of Massa, which his mother taught him:
2No, my son!
No, son of my womb!
No, son of my solemn promises!
3Don’t give your strength to women,
your ways to those who wipe out kings.
4It isn’t for kings, Lemuel,
it isn’t for kings to drink wine,
for rulers to crave#Or where or or strong drink.
5Otherwise, they will drink and forget the law,
and violate the rights of the needy.
6Give strong drink to those who are perishing
and wine to those whose hearts are bitter.
7Let them drink and forget their poverty
and no longer remember their toil.
8Speak out on behalf of the voiceless,
and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.#Or all children who are passing away
9Speak out in order to judge with righteousness
and to defend the needy and the poor.
The competent wife
10A competent wife, how does one find her?
Her value is far above pearls.
11Her husband entrusts his heart to her,
and with her he will have all he needs.
12She brings him good and not trouble
all the days of her life.
13She seeks out wool and flax;
she works joyfully with her hands.
14She is like a fleet of merchant ships,
bringing food from a distance.
15She gets up while it is still night,
providing food for her household,
even some for her female servants.
16She surveys a field and acquires it;
from her own resources, she plants a vineyard.
17She works energetically;
her arms are powerful.
18She realizes that her trading is successful;
she doesn’t put out her lamp at night.
19She puts her hands to the spindle;
her palms grasp the whorl.
20She reaches out to the needy;
she stretches out her hands to the poor.
21She doesn’t fear for her household when it snows,
because they are all dressed in warm#LXX; MT the path of the trail clothes.
22She makes bedspreads for herself;
fine linen and purple are her clothing.
23Her husband is known in the city gates
when he sits with the elders of the land.
24She makes garments and sells them;
she supplies sashes to traders.
25Strength and honor are her clothing;
she is confident about the future.
26Her mouth is full of wisdom;
kindly teaching is on her tongue.
27She is vigilant over the activities of her household;
she doesn’t eat the food of laziness.
28Her children bless her;
her husband praises her:
29"Many women act competently,
but you surpass them all!"
30Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31Let her share in the results of her work;
let her deeds praise her in the city gates.
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