31:1The words of King Lemuel. See note 30:1. Lemuel was not an Israelite king. The nature of this section (vv. 1–9) suggests an Egyptian or perhaps a Babylonian origin. Its intention is apparently vocational, the equipping of the ruler for his task. The form is similar to the instructions of chs. 1–9 (Introduction: Characteristics and Themes). In this case, the teaching is given by the mother (1:8; 4:1, 3). While the father may have been the principal teacher of the children, godly women also took that role (cf. 14:1 note), and there were in Israel noteworthy wise women (2 Sam. 14:2; 20:16).
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