31 These are the words of King Lemuel. This is the message his mother taught him:
2 “My son, I gave birth to you. You are the son I prayed for. 3 Don’t waste your strength on women. Don’t waste your time on those who ruin kings.
4 “Kings should not drink wine, Lemuel. Rulers should not desire beer. 5 If they drink, they might forget the law. They might keep the needy from getting their rights. 6 Give beer to people who are dying. And give wine to those who are sad. 7 Let them drink and forget their need. Then they won’t remember their misery anymore.
8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Defend the rights of all those who have nothing. 9 Speak up and judge fairly. Defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
The Good Wife
10 It is hard to find an excellent wife. She is worth more than rubies. 11 Her husband trusts her completely. With her, he has everything he needs. 12 She does him good and not harm for as long as she lives. 13 She looks for wool and linen. She likes to work with her hands. 14 She is like a trader’s ship. She goes far to get food. 15 She gets up while it is still dark. She prepares food for her family. She also feeds her servant girls. 16 She looks at a field and buys it. With money she has earned, she plants a vineyard. 17 She does her work with energy. Her arms are strong. 18 She makes sure that what she makes is good. She works by her lamp late into the night. 19 She makes thread with her hands and weaves her own cloth. 20 She welcomes the poor. She helps the needy. 21 She does not worry about her family when it snows. They all have fine clothes to keep them warm. 22 She makes coverings for her bed. Her clothes are made of linen and other expensive material. 23 Her husband is recognized at the city meetings. He makes decisions as one of the leaders of the land. 24 She makes linen clothes and sells them. She provides belts to the merchants. 25 She is strong and is respected by the people. She looks forward to the future with joy. 26 She speaks wise words. And she teaches others to be kind. 27 She watches over her family. And she is always busy. 28 Her children bless her. Her husband also praises her. 29 He says, “There are many excellent wives, but you are better than all of them.” 30 Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you. But a woman who respects the Lord should be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned. She should be openly praised for what she has done.
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