What are you doing, my son?[a] What are you doing, (A)son of my womb?
    What are you doing, (B)son of my vows?
Do (C)not give your strength to women,
    your ways to those (D)who destroy kings.
(E)It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
    it is not for kings (F)to drink wine,
    or for rulers to take (G)strong drink,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
    and (H)pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to the one who (I)is perishing,
    and wine to (J)those in bitter distress;[b]
(K)let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.
(L)Open your mouth for the mute,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.[c]
Open your mouth, (M)judge righteously,
    (N)defend the rights of (O)the poor and needy.

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Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 31:2 Hebrew What, my son?
  2. Proverbs 31:6 Hebrew those bitter in soul
  3. Proverbs 31:8 Hebrew are sons of passing away

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