1 The words of King Lemuel—the revelation which his mother taught him:
2 “Oh, my son!
Oh, son of my womb!
Oh, son of my vows!
3 Don’t give your strength to women,
nor your ways to that which destroys kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
nor for princes to say, ‘Where is strong drink?’
5 lest they drink, and forget the decree,
and pervert the justice due to anyone who is afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish,
and wine to the bitter in soul.
7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty,
and remember his misery no more.
8 Open your mouth for the mute,
in the cause of all who are left desolate.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
and serve justice to the poor and needy.”
10 * Proverbs 31:10-31 form an acrostic, with each verse starting with each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in order.Who can find a worthy woman?
For her value is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her.
He shall have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works eagerly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships.
She brings her bread from afar.
15 She rises also while it is yet night,
gives food to her household,
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field, and buys it.
With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard.
17 She arms her waist with strength,
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp doesn’t go out by night.
19 She lays her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her arms to the poor;
yes, she extends her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes for herself carpets of tapestry.
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected in the gates,
when he sits amongst the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing.
She laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom.
Kind instruction is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed.
Her husband also praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain;
but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands!
Let her works praise her in the gates!