31 These are the words of King Lemuel [C an otherwise unknown wise man], the message his mother taught him:
2 “·My son, I gave birth to you. You are the son I prayed for [L What, my son? What, son of my womb? What, son of my vow?]. 3 Don’t waste your strength on women or your ·time [ways] on those who ·ruin [wipe out; destroy] kings.
4 “Kings should not drink wine, Lemuel, and rulers should not ·desire [crave] ·beer [T strong drink; C alcoholic beverage made from grain; 20:1; 23:19–21, 29–35]. 5 If they drink, they might forget the ·law [decrees] and ·keep the needy from getting their rights [violate the rights of the needy]. 6 Give ·beer [T strong drink; v. 4] to people who are ·dying [perishing] and wine to those ·who are sad [who have bitter hearts]. 7 Let them drink and forget their ·need [poverty] and remember their ·misery [or hard work] no more [Eccl. 2:24–26; 3:12–14, 22; 5:18–20; 8:15; 9:7–10].
8 “·Speak up [L Open your mouth] for those who cannot speak for themselves; defend the rights of ·all those who have nothing [vulnerable/fragile people]. 9 ·Speak up [L Open your mouth] and judge ·fairly [with righteousness], and defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
The Good Wife
10 ·It is hard to [L Who can…?] find a ·good [noble; virtuous] wife [Ruth 3:11], because she is worth more than ·rubies [or pearls]. 11 Her husband ·trusts her completely [entrusts his heart to her]. With her, he ·has everything he needs [L lacks no plunder; C a military image]. 12 She ·does [brings] him good and not ·harm [trouble; evil] ·for as long as she lives [L all the days of her life]. 13 She ·looks for [goes out to find] wool and flax and likes to work with her hands. 14 She is like a ·trader’s [merchant] ship, bringing food from far away. 15 She gets up while it is still ·dark [night] and ·prepares food for [L gives prey to] her family and ·feeds [L a portion to] her servant girls. 16 She ·inspects [surveys] a field and ·buys it [takes it over]. With ·money she earned [L the fruits of her hands], she plants a vineyard. 17 ·She does her work with energy [L Her loins are girded with strength], and her arms are strong. 18 She knows that ·what she makes is good [or her trading is successful]. Her lamp ·burns late into the [L she does not extinguish at] night. 19 She ·makes thread with her hands [L sends her hands to the distaff] and ·weaves her own cloth [L her palms hold the spindle tightly]. 20 She ·welcomes [L stretches her palm to] the poor and ·helps [L sends her hands to] the needy. 21 She ·does not worry about [is not afraid for] her family when it snows, because they all have fine clothes to keep them warm. 22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothes are made of linen [C from Egypt] and ·other expensive material [L purple]. 23 Her husband is known at the city ·meetings [L gates; C the place where city leaders meet], where he ·makes decisions as one of [L sits with] the ·leaders [L elders] of the land. 24 She makes ·linen clothes [garments] and sells them and ·provides [supplies] ·belts [sashes] to the merchants. 25 ·She is strong and is respected by the people [L Strength and dignity/honor are her clothing]. She ·looks forward to the future with joy [L laughs at the future; C she is not anxious]. 26 She ·speaks wise words [L opens her mouth with wisdom] and ·teaches others to be kind [L loving instruction is on her tongue]. 27 She ·watches over her family [L is a lookout point for the doings of her household] and ·never wastes her time [L does not eat the bread/food of laziness]. 28 Her children ·speak well of [L rise up and bless] her. Her husband also praises her, 29 saying, “·There are many fine women [L Many daughters act nobly], but you ·are better than [surpass] all of them.” 30 Charm ·can fool you [is deceptive], and beauty ·can trick you [is meaningless; or fleeting], but a woman who ·respects [fears] the Lord[1:7] should be praised. 31 Give her the ·reward she has earned [L fruit of her hands]; she should be praised in ·public [the gates; 31:23] for what she has done.
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