31:1The words of Lemuel, king of Massa: the teaching which he had from his mother.
31:2What am I to say to you, O Lemuel, my oldest son? and what, O son of my body? and what, O son of my oaths?
31:3Do not give your strength to women, or your ways to that which is the destruction of kings.
31:4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to take wine, or for rulers to say, Where is strong drink?
31:5For fear that through drinking they may come to have no respect for the law, wrongly judging the cause of those who are in trouble.
31:6Give strong drink to him who is near to destruction, and wine to him whose soul is bitter:
31:7Let him have drink, and his need will go from his mind, and the memory of his trouble will be gone.
31:8Let your mouth be open for those who have no voice, in the cause of those who are ready for death.
31:9Let your mouth be open, judging rightly, and give right decisions in the cause of the poor and those in need.
31:10Who may make discovery of a woman of virtue? For her price is much higher than jewels.
31:11The heart of her husband has faith in her, and he will have profit in full measure.
31:12She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
31:13She gets wool and linen, working at the business of her hands.
31:14She is like the trading-ships, getting food from far away.
31:15She gets up while it is still night, and gives meat to her family, and their food to her servant-girls.
31:16After looking at a field with care, she gets it for a price, planting a vine-garden with the profit of her work.
31:17She puts a band of strength round her, and makes her arms strong.
31:18She sees that her marketing is of profit to her: her light does not go out by night.
31:19She puts her hands to the cloth-working rod, and her fingers take the wheel.
31:20Her hands are stretched out to the poor; yes, she is open-handed to those who are in need.
31:21She has no fear of the snow for her family, for all those in her house are clothed in red.
31:22She makes for herself cushions of needlework; her clothing is fair linen and purple.
31:23Her husband is a man of note in the public place, when he takes his seat among the responsible men of the land.
31:24She makes linen robes and gets a price for them, and traders take her cloth bands for a price.
31:25Strength and self-respect are her clothing; she is facing the future with a smile.
31:26Her mouth is open to give out wisdom, and the law of mercy is on her tongue.
31:27She gives attention to the ways of her family, she does not take her food without working for it.
31:28Her children get up and give her honour, and her husband gives her praise, saying,
31:29Unnumbered women have done well, but you are better than all of them.
31:30Fair looks are a deceit, and a beautiful form is of no value; but a woman who has the fear of the Lord is to be praised.
31:31Give her credit for what her hands have made: let her be praised by her works in the public place.