1 My words have been spoken by God—the oracular answer of a king, whom his mother instructed. 2 What wilt thou keep, my son, what? the words of God. My firstborn son, I speak to thee: what? son of my womb? what? * The usual punctuation has been altered. son of my vows? 3 Give not thy wealth to women, nor thy mind and living to remorse. Do all things with counsel: drink wine with counsel. 4 Princes are prone to anger: let them then not drink wine: 5 lest they drink, and forget wisdom, and be not able to judge the poor rightly. 6 Give strong drink to those that are in sorrow, and the wine to drink to those in pain: 7 that they may forget their poverty, and may not remember their troubles any more. 8 Open thy mouth with the word of God, and judge all fairly. 9 Open thy mouth and judge justly, and plead the cause of the poor and weak. 10 Who shall find a virtuous woman? for such a one is more valuable than precious stones. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her: such a one shall stand in no need of fine spoils. 12 For she employs all her living for her husband's good. 13 Gathering wool and flax, she makes it serviceable with her hands. 14 She is like a ship trading from a distance: so she procures her livelihood. 15 And she rises by night, and gives food to her household, and appointed tasks to her maidens. 16 She views a farm, and buys it: and with the fruit of her hands she plants and a possession. 17 She strongly girds her loins, and strengthens her arms for work. 18 And she finds by experience that working is good; and her candle goes not out all night. 19 She reaches forth her arms to needful works, and applies her hands to the spindle. 20 And she opens her hands to the needy, and reaches out fruit to the poor. 21 Her husband is not anxious about those at home when he tarries anywhere abroad: for all † Gr. those with her. her household are clothed. 22 She makes for her husband ‡ Comp. Heb. and A.V. clothes of double texture, and garments for herself of fine linen and scarlet. 23 And her husband becomes a distinguished person in the gates, when he sits in council with the old inhabitants of the land. 24 She makes fine linens, and sells girdles to the Chananites: she opens her mouth heedfully and with propriety, and controls her tongue. 25 She puts on strength and honour; and rejoices in the last days. 26 But she opens her mouth wisely, and according to law. 27 The ways of her household are careful, and she eats not the bread of idleness. 28 And her kindness to them sets up her children for them, and they grow rich, and her husband praises her. 29 Many daughters have obtained wealth, many have wrought valiantly; but thou hast exceeded, thou hast surpassed all. 30 Charms are false, and woman's beauty is vain: for it is a wise woman that is blessed, and let her praise the fear the Lord. 31 Give her of the fruit of her lips; and let her husband be praised in the gates.
*31:2: The usual punctuation has been altered.
†31:21: Gr. those with her.
‡31:22: Comp. Heb. and A.V.