1 The words of Lemuel, king of Massa,
that his mother taught him:
2 What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb?
And what, O son of my vows?
3 Do not give your strength to women,
or your ways to those who destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
not for kings to drink wine,
nor for those who rule to drink beer.
5 Lest they drink and forget that which has been decreed,
and alter the legal claim of all the afflicted people.
6 Give a beer to the person who is disheartened,
and wine to the bitter soul.
7 Let him drink and forget his poverty,
and he will no longer remember his troubles.
8 Open your mouth for the mute,
for the legal claim of all defenseless people.
9 Open your mouth, judge with righteousness,
and defend the cause the afflicted and needy person.
10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her value is far more than gems.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks out wool and linen
and with delight she works with her hands.
14 She is like the ships of a merchant;
she brings in her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night,
and sets out food for her household
and tasks for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and purchases it;
from the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She wraps her waist with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her gain is good;
her lamp does not go out during the night.
19 She stretches out her hand to the distaff,
and her hands grasp the whorl of the spindle.
20 She extends her hands to the afflicted,
and stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She does not fear the snow for her household
because her whole household is clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes covers for herself,
and her clothing is linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known at the gates,
when he sits with the elders of the land.
24 She makes and sells linen garments,
and provides belts to the traders.
25 Might and splendor are her clothing,
and she laughs at the days to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and instruction about covenant faithfulness is upon her tongue.
27 She keeps watch over the activities of her household,
and she does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed,
and her husband praises her,
29 “Many daughters have demonstrated themselves to be strong,
but you have risen up above them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive and beauty is but a vapor,
but a woman who fears Yahweh—she will be praised.
31 Give her the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.