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Sayings of King Lemuel

31 The sayingss of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!

Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!t

Do not spend your strengtha on women,

your vigor on those who ruin kings.u

It is not for kings, Lemuel—

it is not for kings to drink wine,v

not for rulers to crave beer,

lest they drinkw and forget what has been decreed,x

and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

Let beer be for those who are perishing,

winey for those who are in anguish!

Let them drinkz and forget their poverty

and remember their misery no more.

Speaka up for those who cannot speak for themselves,

for the rights of all who are destitute.

Speak up and judge fairly;

defend the rights of the poor and needy.b

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10b A wife of noble characterc who can find?d

She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husbande has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value.f

12 She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax

and works with eager hands.g

14 She is like the merchant ships,

bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still night;

she provides food for her family

and portions for her female servants.

16 She considers a field and buys it;

out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;

her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,

and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff

and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor

and extends her hands to the needy.h

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;

she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,

where he takes his seat among the eldersi of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,

and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,

and faithful instruction is on her tongue.j

27 She watches over the affairs of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many women do noble things,

but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,

and let her works bring her praisek at the city gate.


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