Modern English Version
The Sayings of King Lemuel’s Mother
31 The words of King Lemuel, an oracle that his mother taught him:
2 What, my son? And what, the son of my womb?
And what, the son of my vows?
3 Do not give your strength to women,
nor your ways to that which destroys kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
nor for princes strong drink;
5 lest they drink and forget the law,
and pervert the justice of any of the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish,
and wine to those who are of heavy hearts.
7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty,
and remember his misery no more.
8 Open your mouth for the speechless
in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
Epilogue: The Virtuous Wife
10 Who can find a virtuous woman?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts in her,
so that he will have no lack of gain.
12 She will do him good and not evil
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
she brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
and gives food to her household,
and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She clothes herself with strength,
and strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good;
her candle does not go out by night.
19 She lays her hands to the spindle,
and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretches out her hand to the poor;
yes, she reaches forth 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 herself coverings of tapestry;
her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes fine linen and sells it,
and delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing,
and she will rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and in her tongue is the teaching of kindness.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done virtuously,
but you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her own works praise her in the gates.