Proverbs 31:1
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New International Version
The sayings of King Lemuel--an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

King James Bible
The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.

Darby Bible Translation
The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him:

World English Bible
The words of king Lemuel; the oracle which his mother taught him.

Young's Literal Translation
Words of Lemuel a king, a declaration that his mother taught him:

Proverbs 31:1 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The words of King Lemuel - דברי למואל מכך dibrey lemuel melech, "The words to Muel the king." So the Syriac; and so I think it should be read, the ל lamed being the article or preposition.

But who is Muel or Lemuel? Solomon, according to general opinion; and the mother here mentioned, Bath-sheba. I cannot receive these sayings; for

1. Whoever this was, he appears to have been the first-born of his mother: called here emphatically בר בטני bar bitni, the son of my womb; which is not likely to be true of Solomon, as his mother had been the wife of Uriah, and possibly had borne that rough and faithful soldier some children.

2. It is intimated here that this son had come by a lawful marriage: hence בר נדרי bar nedarai, the son of my vow, her matrimonial covenant; for so it is most natural to understand the words. But is there any proper sense in which we can say that this was correct in reference to David, Bath-sheba and Solomon? For although the son born in adultery died, it is by no means likely that Bath-sheba made any particular vows relative to Solomon; for of her piety, so much vaunted of by some writers, we yet want the proofs.

But, however this may be, there is no evidence whatever that Muel or Lemuel means Solomon; the chapter seems, to be much later than his time, and the several Chaldaisms which occur in the very opening of it are no mean proof of this. If Agur was not the author of it, it may be considered as another supplement to the book of Proverbs. Most certainly Solomon did not write it.

The prophecy that his mother taught him - משא massa may here signify the oracle; the subject that came by Divine inspiration; see on Proverbs 30:1 (note). From this and some other circumstances it is probable that both these chapters were written by the same author. Houbigant thinks that Massa here is the name of a place; and, therefore, translates, "The words of Lemuel, king of Massa, with which his mother instructed him."

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 30:1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spoke to Ithiel, even to Ithiel and Ucal,


Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, and forsake not the law of your mother:

Proverbs 6:20 My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not the law of your mother:

2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in you, which dwelled first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice...

2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures...

The Gospel Cordial
A Sermon (No. 3236) published on Thursday, February 9th, 1911 delivered by C.H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. on Lord's Day Evening, September 20th, 1863. "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more."--Proverbs 31:6, 7. These somewhat singular sentences were spoken by the mother of Lemuel to her son, who was probably Solomon. She had already said to him,
C.H. Spurgeon—Sermons on Proverbs

Many specimens of the so-called Wisdom Literature are preserved for us in the book of Proverbs, for its contents are by no means confined to what we call proverbs. The first nine chapters constitute a continuous discourse, almost in the manner of a sermon; and of the last two chapters, ch. xxx. is largely made up of enigmas, and xxxi. is in part a description of the good housewife. All, however, are rightly subsumed under the idea of wisdom, which to the Hebrew had always moral relations. The Hebrew
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Proverbs 30:33
For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife."

Proverbs 31:2
Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!

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