A A A A A
Bible Book List

Proverbs 31Living Bible (TLB)

31 These are the wise sayings of King Lemuel of Massa,[a] taught to him at his mother’s knee:

O my son, whom I have dedicated to the Lord, do not spend your time with women—the royal pathway to destruction.

And it is not for kings, O Lemuel, to drink wine and whiskey. For if they drink, they may forget their duties and be unable to give justice to those who are oppressed. 6-7 Hard liquor is for sick men at the brink of death, and wine for those in deep depression. Let them drink to forget their poverty and misery.

You should defend those who cannot help themselves. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.

10 If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! 11 Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs. 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life. 13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. 14 She buys imported foods brought by ship from distant ports. 15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plans the day’s work for her servant girls. 16 She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her own hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She is energetic, a hard worker, 18 and watches for bargains. She works far into the night!

19-20 She sews for the poor and generously helps those in need. 21 She has no fear of winter for her household, for she has made warm clothes for all of them. 22 She also upholsters with finest tapestry; her own clothing is beautifully made—a purple gown of pure linen. 23 Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council chamber with the other civic leaders. 24 She makes belted linen garments to sell to the merchants.

25 She is a woman of strength and dignity and has no fear of old age. 26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says.  27 She watches carefully all that goes on throughout her household and is never lazy. 28 Her children stand and bless her; so does her husband. He praises her with these words: 29 “There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all!”

30 Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn’t last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised. 31 Praise her for the many fine things she does. These good deeds of hers shall bring her honor and recognition from people of importance.[b]

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 31:1 King Lemuel of Massa, or “King Lemuel the oracle.”
  2. Proverbs 31:31 These good deeds of hers shall bring her honor and recognition from people of importance, literally, “Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31New 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.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes