The words of Lemuel, king of Massa, with which his mother admonished him:
No, my son!
No, O son of my womb!
No, O son of my vows!
Do not give your strength to women,
Your vigor,aLit. “ways.” bMeaning of Heb. uncertain.to those who destroy kings.-b
Wine is not for kings, O Lemuel;
Not for kings to drink,
Nor any strong drink for princes,
Lest they drink and forget what has been ordained,
And infringe on the rights of the poor.
Give strong drink to the hapless
And wine to the embittered.
Let them drink and forget their poverty,
And put their troubles out of mind.
Speak up for the dumb,
For the rights of all the unfortunate.
Speak up, judge righteously,
Champion the poor and the needy.
What a rare find is a capable wife!
Her worth is far beyond that of rubies.
Her husband puts his confidence in her,
And lacks no good thing.
She is good to him, never bad,
All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax,
And sets her hand to them with a will.
She is like a merchant fleet,
Bringing her food from afar.
She rises while it is still night,
And supplies provisions for her household,
The daily fare of her maids.
She sets her mind on an estate and acquires it;
She plants a vineyard by her own labors.
She girds herself with strength,
cLit. “And exerts her arms.”And performs her tasks with vigor.-c
She seesdLit. “tastes.” that her business thrives;
Her lamp never goes out at night.
She sets her hand to the distaff;
Her fingers work the spindle.
She gives generously to the poor;
Her hands are stretched out to the needy.
She is not worried for her household because of snow,
For her whole household is dressed in crimson.
She makes covers for herself;
Her clothing is linen and purple.
Her husband is prominent in the gates,
As he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes cloth and sells it,
And offers a girdle to the merchant.
She is clothed with strength and splendor;
She looks to the future cheerfully.
Her mouth is full of wisdom,
Her tongue with kindly teaching.
She oversees the activities of her household
And never eats the bread of idleness.
Her children declare her happy;
Her husband praises her,
“Many women have done well,
But you surpass them all.”
Grace is deceptive,
Beauty is illusory;
It is for her fear of the LORD
That a woman is to be praised.
Extol her for the fruit of her hand,
And let her works praise her in the gates.