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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 Yahweh should be praised.
31 Reward her for what she has done,
    and let her achievements praise her at the city gates.”