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