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A Mother’s Warning

31 The words of King Lemuel, an oracle that his mother taught him:

O my son, O son of my womb,
O son of my vows,
do not give your vigor to women,
or your ways to what ruins kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to crave strong drink,
lest they drink, forget what is decreed,
and pervert justice for all the oppressed.
Give strong drink to one who is dying,
and wine to those who are bitterly distressed—
let him drink, forget his poverty,
and remember his misery no more.

Open your mouth on behalf of those unable to speak,
for the justice of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
plead the cause of the poor and needy.

A Woman of Valor

10 An accomplished woman who can find?
Her value is far beyond rubies.
11 Her husband’s heart trusts in her,
and he lacks nothing valuable.
12 She brings him good and not harm
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and her hands work willingly.
14 She is like merchant ships,
bringing her sustenance from afar.
15 She rises while it is still night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it.
From the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength
and invigorates her arms.
18 She discerns that her business is good.
Her lamp never goes out at night.
19 She extends her hands to the spindle
and her palm grasps the spinning wheel.
20 She spreads out her palms to the poor,
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her house,
for her whole household is clothed in scarlet wool.
22 She makes her own luxurious coverings.
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gates,
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them
and supplies sashes to the merchants.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the days to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom—
a lesson of kindness 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 bless her,
her husband also praises her:
29 “Many daughters have excelled,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears Adonai will be praised.
31 Give her the fruit of her hands.
Let her deeds be her praise at the gates.