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The New King James Version

Proverbs 31:1–12

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The Words of King Lemuel’s Mother

31 The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:

2 What, my son?

And what, son of my womb?

And what, ason of my vows?

3 bDo not give your strength to women,

Nor your ways cto that which destroys kings.

4 dIt is not for kings, O Lemuel,

It is not for kings to drink wine,

Nor for princes intoxicating drink;

5 eLest they drink and forget the law,

And pervert the justice of all 1the afflicted.

6 fGive strong drink to him who is perishing,

And wine to those who are bitter of heart.

7 Let him drink and forget his poverty,

And remember his misery no more.

8 gOpen your mouth for the speechless,

In the cause of all who are 2appointed to die.

9 Open your mouth, hjudge righteously,

And iplead the cause of the poor and needy.

The Virtuous Wife

10 jWho 3can find a 4virtuous wife?

For her worth is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;

So he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good and not evil

All the days of her life.

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a
b
c
d
e
1

Lit. sons of affliction

f
g
2

Lit. sons of passing away

h
i
j
3

Vv. 10–31 are an alphabetic acrostic in Hebrew; cf. Ps. 119

4

Lit. a wife of valor, in the sense of all forms of excellence