The Words of Lemuel
31:1 The words of King Lemuel,1
an oracle2 that his mother taught him:
31:2 O3 my son, O son of my womb,
O son4 of my vows,
31:3 Do not give your strength5 to women,
nor your ways6 to that which ruins7 kings.
31:4 It is not for kings,8 O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,9
or for rulers to crave strong drink,10
31:5 lest they drink and forget what is decreed,
and remove11 from all the poor12 their legal rights.13
31:6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,14
and wine to those who are bitterly distressed;15
31:7 let them16 drink and forget17 their poverty,
and remember their misery no more.
31:8 Open your mouth18 on behalf of those unable to speak,19
for the legal rights of all the dying.20
31:9 Open your mouth, judge in righteousness,21
and plead the cause22 of the poor and needy.
The Wife of Noble Character23
31:10 Who can find24 a wife25 of noble character?26
For her value27 is far more than rubies.
31:11 The heart of her husband has confidence28 in her,
and he has no lack of gain.29
31:12 She brings him30 good and not evil31
all the days of her life.
31:13 She obtains32 wool and flax,
and she is pleased to work with her hands.33
31:14 She is like34 the merchant ships;35
she brings her food from afar.
31:15 She also gets up36 while it is still night,
and provides food37 for her household and a portion38 to her female servants.
31:16 She considers39 a field and buys it;
from her own income40 she plants a vineyard.
31:17 She begins41 her work vigorously,
and she strengthens42 her arms.
31:18 She knows43 that her merchandise is good,
and her lamp44 does not go out in the night.
31:19 Her hands45 take hold46 of the distaff,
and her hands grasp the spindle.
31:20 She extends47 her hand48 to the poor,
and reaches out her hand to the needy.
31:21 She is not49 afraid of the snow50 for her household,
for all of her household are clothed with scarlet.51
31:22 She makes for herself coverlets;52
her clothing is fine linen and purple.53
31:23 Her husband is well-known54 in the city gate55
when he sits with the elders56 of the land.
31:24 She makes linen garments57 and sells them,
and supplies the merchants58 with sashes.
31:25 She is clothed59 with strength60 and honor,61
and she can laugh62 at the time63 to come.
31:26 She opens her mouth64 with wisdom,
and loving instruction65 is on her tongue.
31:27 She watches over66 the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.67
31:28 Her children rise up68 and call her blessed,
her husband69 also praises her:
31:29 “Many70 daughters71 have done valiantly,72
but you surpass them all!”
31:30 Charm is deceitful73 and beauty is fleeting,74
but a woman who fears the
31:31 Give76 her credit for what she has accomplished,77
and let her works praise her78 in the city gates.79