31 These are the sayings of King Lemuel. His mother taught them to him. She spoke them as if they came from God.
2 She said, “My son! My very own son!
The son I prayed for!
3 Don’t waste your strength on women.
Don’t waste it on those who destroy kings.
4 “Lemuel, it isn’t good for kings to drink wine.
It isn’t good for rulers to long for beer.
5 If they do, they might drink and forget what the law commands.
They might take away the rights of all those who are beaten down.
6 Give beer to those who are dying.
Give wine to those who are sad and troubled.
7 Let them drink and forget how poor they are.
Let them forget their suffering.
8 “Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.
Speak up for the rights of all those who are poor.
Speak up for the rights of those who are poor and needy.”
10 Who can find a noble wife?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband trusts her completely.
She gives him all the important things he needs.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She loves to work with her hands.
14 She is like the ships of traders.
She brings her food from far away.
15 She gets up while it is still dark.
She provides food for her family.
She also gives some to her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it.
She uses some of the money she earns to plant a vineyard.
17 She gets ready to work hard.
Her arms are strong.
18 She sees that her trading earns a lot of money.
Her lamp doesn’t go out at night.
19 With one hand she holds the wool.
With the other she spins the thread.
20 She opens her arms to those who are poor.
She reaches out her hands to those who are needy.
21 When it snows, she’s not afraid for her family.
All of them are dressed in the finest clothes.
22 She makes her own bed coverings.
She is dressed in fine linen and purple clothes.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate.
There he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen clothes and sells them.
She supplies belts to the traders.
25 She puts on strength and honor as if they were her clothes.
She can laugh at the days that are coming.
She teaches faithfully.
27 She watches over family matters.
She is busy all the time.
28 Her children stand up and call her blessed.
Her husband also rises up, and he praises her.
29 He says, “Many women do noble things.
But you are better than all the others.”
30 Charm can fool you. Beauty fades.
But a woman who has respect for the Lord should be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned.
Let everything she has done bring praise to her at the city gate.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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