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Proverbs 31 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Wise Words of King Lemuel

31 These are the words of King Lemuel. This is the message his mother taught him:

“My son, I gave birth to you.
    You are the son I prayed for.
Don’t waste your strength on women.
    Don’t waste your time on those who ruin kings.

“Kings should not drink wine, Lemuel.
    Rulers should not desire beer.
If they drink, they might forget the law.
    They might keep the needy from getting their rights.
Give beer to people who are dying.
    And give wine to those who are sad.
Let them drink and forget their need.
    Then they won’t remember their misery anymore.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
    Defend the rights of all those who have nothing.
Speak up and judge fairly.
    Defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

The Good Wife

10 It is hard to find an excellent wife.
    She is worth more than rubies.
11 Her husband trusts her completely.
    With her, he has everything he needs.
12 She does him good and not harm
    for as long as she lives.
13 She looks for wool and linen.
    She likes to work with her hands.
14 She is like a trader’s ship.
    She goes far to get food.
15 She gets up while it is still dark.
    She prepares food for her family.
    She also feeds her servant girls.
16 She looks at a field and buys it.
    With money she has earned, she plants a vineyard.
17 She does her work with energy.
    Her arms are strong.
18 She makes sure that what she makes is good.
    She works by her lamp late into the night.
19 She makes thread with her hands
    and weaves her own cloth.
20 She welcomes the poor.
    She helps the needy.
21 She does not worry about her family when it snows.
    They all have fine clothes to keep them warm.
22 She makes coverings for her bed.
    Her clothes are made of linen and other expensive material.
23 Her husband is recognized at the city meetings.
    He makes decisions as one of the leaders of the land.
24 She makes linen clothes and sells them.
    She provides belts to the merchants.
25 She is strong and is respected by the people.
    She looks forward to the future with joy.
26 She speaks wise words.
    And she teaches others to be kind.
27 She watches over her family.
    And she is always busy.
28 Her children bless her.
    Her husband also praises her.
29 He says, “There are many excellent wives,
    but you are better than all of them.”
30 Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you.
    But a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned.
    She should be openly praised for what she has done.

International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

Proverbs 31 New International Version (NIV)

Sayings of King Lemuel

31 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
    Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength[a] on women,
    your vigor on those who ruin kings.

It is not for kings, Lemuel—
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 31:3 Or wealth
  2. Proverbs 31:10 Verses 10-31 are an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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