The Words of Lemuel
2 What, my son?
And what, son of my womb?
And what, son of my vows?
3 Do not give your strength to women,
Or your ways to that which destroys kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire intoxicating drink,
5 Otherwise they will drink and forget what is decreed,
And pervert the [a]rights of all the [b]needy.
6 Give intoxicating drink to one who is perishing,
And wine to one [c]whose life is bitter.
7 Let him drink and forget his poverty,
And remember his trouble no more.
8 Open your mouth for the people who cannot speak,
For the [d]rights of all the [e]unfortunate.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And [f]defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Description of a Worthy Woman
10 An excellent wife, who can find her?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and linen,
And works with her [g]hands [h]in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15 And she rises while it is still night
And gives food to her household,
And [i]portions to her attendants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From [j]her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She surrounds her waist with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her profit is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the [k]distaff,
And her [l]hands grasp the spindle.
20 She [m]extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And [n]supplies belts to the [o]tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the [p]future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the [q]teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the activities of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who [r]fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the [s]product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
- Proverbs 31:5 Lit judgment
- Proverbs 31:5 Lit sons of affliction
- Proverbs 31:6 Lit bitter of soul
- Proverbs 31:8 Lit judgment
- Proverbs 31:8 Lit sons of passing away
- Proverbs 31:9 Lit judge the afflicted
- Proverbs 31:13 Lit palms
- Proverbs 31:13 Or willingly
- Proverbs 31:15 Or prescribed tasks
- Proverbs 31:16 Lit the fruit of her palms
- Proverbs 31:19 I.e., the staff that holds the textile fibers for spinning
- Proverbs 31:19 Lit palms
- Proverbs 31:20 Lit spreads out her palm
- Proverbs 31:24 Lit gives
- Proverbs 31:24 Lit Canaanite
- Proverbs 31:25 Lit latter days
- Proverbs 31:26 Or law
- Proverbs 31:30 Or reveres
- Proverbs 31:31 Lit fruit