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Proverbs 31 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

31 The sayings of King Lemuel, a prophetic revelation, used by his mother to discipline him.

Advice to a Prince

“What, my son?
What, son to whom I gave birth?
What, son of my prayers?
    Don’t give your strength to women
        or your power to those who ruin kings.

“It is not for kings, Lemuel.
It is not for kings to drink wine or for rulers to crave liquor.
    Otherwise, they drink and forget what they have decreed
        and change the standard of justice for all oppressed people.
Give liquor to a person who is dying
    and wine to one who feels resentful.
        Such a person drinks
            and forgets his poverty
                and does not remember his trouble anymore.

“Speak out for the one who cannot speak,
    for the rights of those who are doomed.
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.”

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

Proverbs 31 New International Version (NIV)

Sayings of King Lemuel

31 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
    Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength[a] on women,
    your vigor on those who ruin kings.

It is not for kings, Lemuel—
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction 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 call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


  1. Proverbs 31:3 Or wealth
  2. Proverbs 31:10 Verses 10-31 are an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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