Proverbs 31
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The Words of King Lemuel

1The words of King Lemuel—an oracle that his mother taught him:

2What shall I say, O my son?

What, O son of my womb?

What, O son of my vows?

3Do not spend your strength on women

or your vigor on those who ruin kings.

4It is not for kings, O Lemuel,

it is not for kings to drink wine,

or for rulers to crave strong drink,

5lest they drink and forget what is decreed,

and deprive all the oppressed of justice.

6Give strong drink to one who is perishing,

and wine to the bitter in soul.

7Let him drink and forget his poverty,

and remember his misery no more.

8Open your mouth for those with no voice,

for the justice of all the dispossessed.

9Open your mouth, judge righteously,

and defend the cause of the poor and needy.

The Virtues of a Noble Woman

10Whoa can find a wife of noble character?

She is far more precious than rubies.

11The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will lack nothing of value.

12She will bring him good and not harm

all the days of her life.

13She selects wool and flax

and works with eager hands.

14She is like the merchant ships,

bringing her food from afar.

15She rises while it is still night

to provide food for her household

and portions for her maidservants.

16She appraises a field and buys it;

from her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17She girds herselfb with strength

and shows that her arms are strong.

18She sees that her gain is good,

and her lamp is not extinguished at night.

19She stretches out her hands to the distaff

and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20She opens her arms to the poor

and reaches out her hands to the needy.

21When it snows, she is not afraid for her household;

for they are all clothed in scarlet.c

22She makes coverings for her bed;

her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23Her husband is known at the city gate,

where he sits among the elders of the land.

24She makes linen garments and sells them;

she delivers sashes to the merchants.

25Strength and honor are her clothing,

and she can laugh at the days to come.

26She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27She watches over the affairs of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband praises her as well:

29“Many daughters have done noble things,

but you surpass them all!”

30Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting,

but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31Give her the fruit of her hands,

and let her works praise her at the gates.

Footnotes:

10 a Verses 10 - 31 are an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet
17 b Hebrew She girds her loins
21 c Or doubly clothed

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Proverbs 30
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