Wise Words for a King
31 These are the wise sayings that King Lemuel’s mother taught him:
2 I prayed for a son, and you are the son I gave birth to. 3 Don’t waste your strength on women. Women destroy kings, so don’t waste yourself on them. 4 Lemuel, it is not wise for kings to drink wine. It is not wise for rulers to want beer. 5 They may drink too much and forget what the law says. Then they might take away the rights of the poor. 6 Give beer to people without hope. Give wine to those who are in trouble. 7 Let them drink to forget their troubles. Let them forget they are poor.
8 Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Help people who are in trouble. 9 Stand up for what you know is right, and judge all people fairly. Protect the rights of the poor and those who need help.
The Perfect Wife
10 [a] How hard it is to find the perfect wife.[b]
She is worth far more than jewels.
11 Her husband depends on her.
He will never be poor.
12 She does good for her husband all her life.
She never causes him trouble.
13 She is always gathering wool and flax[c]
and enjoys making things with her hands.
14 She is like a ship from a faraway place.
She brings home food from everywhere.
15 She wakes up early in the morning,
cooks food for her family, and gives the servants their share.
16 She looks at land and buys it.
She uses the money she has earned and plants a vineyard.
17 She works very hard.
She is strong and able to do all her work.
18 She works late into the night
to make sure her business earns a profit.
19 She makes her own thread
and weaves her own cloth.
20 She always gives to the poor
and helps those who need it.
21 She does not worry about her family when it snows.
She has given them all good, warm clothes.
22 She makes sheets and spreads for the beds,
and she wears clothes of fine linen.
23 Her husband is a respected member of the city council,
where he meets with the other leaders.
24 She makes clothes and belts
and sells them to the merchants.
25 She is a strong person,[d] and people respect her.
She looks to the future with confidence.
26 She speaks with wisdom
and teaches others to be loving and kind.
27 She oversees the care of her house.
She is never lazy.
28 Her children say good things about her.
Her husband brags about her and says,
29 “There are many good women,
but you are the best.”
30 Grace and beauty can fool you,
but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
31 Give her the reward she deserves.
Praise her in public for what she has done.
- Proverbs 31:10 In Hebrew, each verse of this poem starts with the next letter of the alphabet, so this poem shows all the good qualities of a woman “from A to Z.”
- Proverbs 31:10 the perfect wife Or “a noble woman.”
- Proverbs 31:13 flax A plant used to make linen cloth.
- Proverbs 31:25 She is a strong person Or “She is praised.”