Proverbs 31
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Counsel from King Lemuel’s Mother

1The words of King Lemuel—

a pronouncement with which his mother encouraged him.

2No,a my son!

No,b my son whom I conceived!c

No,d my son to whom I gave birth!e

3Never devote all your energy to sex,f

or dedicate your lifeg to destroying kings.

4It is not for kings, Lemuel—

Not for kings to drink wine

or for rulers to desire liquor.

5Otherwise, they may drink and forget what has been ordained,

perverting justice for all the oppressed.

6Give liquor to someone who is perishing,

and wine to someone who is deeply depressed.h

7Let him drink, forget his poverty,

and remember his troubles no more.

8Speak for those who cannot speak;

seek justice for all those on the verge of destruction.i

9Speak up, judge righteously,

and defend the rights of the afflicted and oppressed.

The Honorable Woman

10Who can find a capable wife?

Her value far exceeds the finest jewels.

11Her husband has full confidence in her;

as a result, he lacks nothing of value.

12She will bring good to him—never evil—

every day of her life.

13She seeks out wool and flax,

working with eager hands.

14She is like a seagoing ship

that brings her food from far away.

15She rises while it is still night,

preparing meals for her family

and providing for her women servants.

16She evaluates a field and purchases it;

from the proceeds she plants a vineyard.

17She clothes herself with fortitude,

and fortifies her arms with strength.

18She is confident that her profits are sufficient.

Her lamp does not go out at night.

19She works with her own hands on her clothesj

her hands work the sewing spindle.

20She reaches out to the poor,

opening her hands to those in need.

21She is unafraid of winter’s effect onk her household,

because all of them are warmly clothed.l

22She creates her own bedding,

using fine linen and violet cloth.

23Her husband is well known;m

he sits among the leaders of the land.

24She designs and sells linen garments,

supplying accessoriesn to clothiers.

25Strength and dignity are her garments;

she smiles about the future.

26She speaks wisely,

teaching with gracious love.

27She looks discretely to the affairs of her household,

and she is never lazy.o

28Her children stand up and encourage her,

as does her husband, who praises her:

29“Many women have done wonderful things,” he says,p

“but you surpass all of them!”

30Charm is deceitful and beauty fades;

but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised.

31Reward her for her work—

let her actions result in public praise.q

a 31:2 Or What
b 31:2 Or What
c 31:2 Lit. son of my womb?
d 31:2 Or What
e 31:2 Lit. son of my vows
f 31:3 Lit. women
g 31:3 Lit. ways
h 31:6 Lit. one whose soul is bitter
i 31:8 Lit. all sons of destruction
j 31:19 Lit. staff
k 31:21 Lit. of the snow for
l 31:21 Lit. are clothed in red
m 31:23 Lit. is known in the gates
n 31:24 Or belts
o 31:27 Lit. she does not eat the food of laziness
p 31:29 The Heb. lacks he says
q 31:31 Lit. in praise in the gates

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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