1 The sayings of King Lemuel, a prophetic revelation, used by his mother to discipline him.
Advice to a Prince
2 “What, my son?
What, son to whom I gave birth?
What, son of my prayers?
3 Don’t give your strength to women
or your power to those who ruin kings.
4 “It is not for kings, Lemuel.
It is not for kings to drink wine or for rulers to crave liquor.
5 Otherwise, they drink and forget what they have decreed
and change the standard of justice for all oppressed people.
6 Give liquor to a person who is dying
and wine to one who feels resentful.
7 Such a person drinks
and forgets his poverty
and does not remember his trouble anymore.
8 “Speak out for the one who cannot speak,
for the rights of those who are doomed.
9 Speak out,
and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people.”
A Poem in Hebrew Alphabetical Order
10 “Who can find a wife with a strong character?
She is worth far more than jewels.
11 Her husband trusts her with ⌊all⌋ his heart,
and he does not lack anything good.
12 She helps him and never harms him all the days of her life.
13 “She seeks out wool and linen ⌊with care⌋
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like merchant ships.
She brings her food from far away.
15 She wakes up while it is still dark
and gives food to her family
and portions of food to her female slaves.
16 “She picks out a field and buys it.
She plants a vineyard from the profits she has earned.
17 She puts on strength like a belt
and goes to work with energy.
18 She sees that she is making a good profit.
Her lamp burns late at night.
19 “She puts her hands on the distaff,
and her fingers hold a spindle.
20 She opens her hands to oppressed people
and stretches them out to needy people.
21 She does not fear for her family when it snows
because her whole family
has a double layer of clothing.
22 She makes quilts for herself.
Her clothes are ⌊made of⌋ linen and purple cloth.
23 “Her husband is known at the city gates
when he sits with the leaders of the land.
24 “She makes linen garments and sells them
and delivers belts to the merchants.
25 She dresses with strength and nobility,
and she smiles at the future.
26 “She speaks with wisdom,
and on her tongue there is tender instruction.
27 She keeps a close eye on the conduct of her family,
and she does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children and her husband
stand up and bless her.
In addition, he sings her praises, by saying,
29 ‘Many women have done noble work,
but you have surpassed them all!’
30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty evaporates,
⌊but⌋ a woman who has the fear of the Lord should be praised.
31 Reward her for what she has done,
and let her achievements praise her at the city gates.”