31 The words of King Lemuel of Massa, in which his mother instructed him. 2 What, my son? and what, son of my body?and what, son of my vows? 3 * Do not give your vigor to womennor your courses to those who undo kings. 4 Be it not for kings, Lemuel,not for kings to drink winenor for potentates to crave beer, 5 For fear one should drink and forget legalityand unsettle justice in the case of any of the downtrodden. 6 Give beer to a ruined manand wine to men with sore hearts; 7 Let one drink and forget his povertyand no longer remember his trouble. 8 * Open your mouth for a voiceless man,to give justice in the case of any who have no firm footing in life; 9 Open your mouth, judge fairly,and give verdicts for an unfortunate and a needy man. 10 ** O to find an efficient wife!her value is beyond that of coral. 11 Her husband’s heart rests confident in her,and he has no lack of winnings. 12 She does him good and never harmall her life long. 13 She looks up wool and flax,and works with willing hands. 14 She is like a trader’s ships,brings her bread from far away. 15 And she rises while it is still nightand gives provisions to her householdand a ration to her girls. 16 She plans for a field and gets it;out of the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She belts her waist with strengthand puts energy into her arms. 18 She perceives that her business is good—her lamp does not go out in the night. 19 She reaches her arms to the distaffand her hands work the spindle. 20 She opens her hands to the unfortunate manand reaches them out to the needy one. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her householdbecause her household is all wearing scarlet. 22 She makes herself sleeping-rugs;her dress is lawn and purple. 23 Her husband is a marked man in the gateswhen he sits with the elders of the country. 24 She makes a cambric wrapper and sells itand gives a belt to the merchant. 25 Strength and stateliness are her dress,and she laughs at a future day. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdomand has friendly instructions on her tongue 27 * As she watches the goings-on of her houseand does not eat in idleness. 28 Her sons stand up and felicitate her;her husband, and praises her: 29 “Many have been the daughters that made notable records,but you overtop them all.” 30 Charm is a cheat and beauty is a bubble;a woman who fears Jehovah is the one to praise. 31 Give her fruits of her own handsand let her own work praise her in the gates.
^ 31:3 (last half) Susp.
^ 31:8 (who have no firm footing in life) Unc., susp.
^ 31:10 Lit. Who will find
^ 31:10 Lit. her price
^ 31:27 Lit. eat bread of idleness