The Word of King Lemuel
1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him:
2 What, my son? and what, O son of my womb? and what, O son of my vows?
3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to them that destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for rulers to say, Where is the strong drink?
5 — lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the children of affliction.
6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto the bitter of soul:
7 let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
8 Open thy mouth for the dumb, for the cause of all those that are left desolate.
9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and minister justice to the afflicted and needy.
10 Who can find a woman of worth? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband confideth in her, and he shall have no lack of spoil.
12 She doeth him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships: she bringeth her food from afar;
15 And she riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and the day’s work to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and acquireth it; of the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and maketh strong her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her earning is good; her lamp goeth not out by night.
19 She putteth her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the afflicted, and she reacheth forth 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 maketh herself coverlets; her clothing is byssus and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh body linen and selleth it, and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laugheth at the coming day.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and upon her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She surveyeth the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her:
29 Many daughters have done worthily, but thou excellest them all.
30 Gracefulness is deceitful and beauty is vain; a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.