31 The sayings of King Lemuel, a prophetic revelation, used by his mother to discipline him.
Advice to a Prince
2 “What, my son? What, son to whom I gave birth? What, son of my prayers? 3 Don’t give your strength to women or your power to those who ruin kings.
4 “It is not for kings, Lemuel. It is not for kings to drink wine or for rulers to crave liquor. 5 Otherwise, they drink and forget what they have decreed and change the standard of justice for all oppressed people. 6 Give liquor to a person who is dying and wine to one who feels resentful. 7 Such a person drinks and forgets his poverty and does not remember his trouble anymore.
8 “Speak out for the one who cannot speak, for the rights of those who are doomed. 9 Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people.”
A Poem in Hebrew Alphabetical Order
10 “Who can find a wife with a strong character? She is worth far more than jewels. 11 Her husband trusts her with all his heart, and he does not lack anything good. 12 She helps him and never harms him all the days of her life.
13 “She seeks out wool and linen with care and works with willing hands. 14 She is like merchant ships. She brings her food from far away. 15 She wakes up while it is still dark and gives food to her family and portions of food to her female slaves.
16 “She picks out a field and buys it. She plants a vineyard from the profits she has earned. 17 She puts on strength like a belt and goes to work with energy. 18 She sees that she is making a good profit. Her lamp burns late at night.
19 “She puts her hands on the distaff, and her fingers hold a spindle. 20 She opens her hands to oppressed people and stretches them out to needy people. 21 She does not fear for her family when it snows because her whole family has a double layer of clothing. 22 She makes quilts for herself. Her clothes are made of linen and purple cloth.
23 “Her husband is known at the city gates when he sits with the leaders of the land.
24 “She makes linen garments and sells them and delivers belts to the merchants. 25 She dresses with strength and nobility, and she smiles at the future.
26 “She speaks with wisdom, and on her tongue there is tender instruction. 27 She keeps a close eye on the conduct of her family, and she does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children and her husband stand up and bless her. In addition, he sings her praises, by saying, 29 ‘Many women have done noble work, but you have surpassed them all!’
30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty evaporates, but a woman who has the fear of the Lord should be praised. 31 Reward her for what she has done, and let her achievements praise her at the city gates.”
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