The Words of Lemuel

1 The words of King Lemuel, an oraclea that his mother taught him:

References for Proverbs 31:1

    • a 31:1 - Or of Lemuel, king of Massa
      2 What [should I say], my son? What, son of my womb? What, son of my vows?
      3 Don't spend your energy on women or your efforts on those who destroy kings.
      4 It is not for kings, Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine or for rulers [to desire] beer.
      5 Otherwise, theyb will drink, forget what is decreed, and pervert justice for all the oppressed.c d

      References for Proverbs 31:5

        • b 31:5 - Lit he
        • c 31:5 - Lit sons of affliction
        • d 31:5 - Ps 72:1-2; Isa 28:7
          6 Give beer to one who is dying, and wine to one whose life is bitter.
          7 Let him drink so that he can forget his poverty and remember his trouble no more.
          8 Speak upe for those who have no voice,f for the justice of all who are dispossessed.g

          References for Proverbs 31:8

            • e 31:8 - Lit Open your mouth
            • f 31:8 - Lit who are mute
            • g 31:8 - Lit all the sons of passing away
              9 Speak up,h judge righteously, and defend the cause ofi the oppressed and needy.

              References for Proverbs 31:9

                • h 31:9 - Lit Open your mouth
                • i 31:9 - Lit and justice for

                  In Praise of a Capable Wife

                  10 Who can find a capable wife?j She is far more precious than jewels.k l

                  References for Proverbs 31:10

                    • j 31:10 - Or a wife of quality, or a wife of good character; Ru 2:1; 3:11
                    • k 31:10 - Vv. 10-31 form an acrostic in Hb.
                    • l 31:10 - Pr 12:4; 18:22
                      11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good.
                      12 She rewards him with good, not evil, all the days of her life.
                      13 She selects wool and flaxm and works with willing hands.

                      References for Proverbs 31:13

                        • m 31:13 - Plant from which linen is made
                          14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from far away.
                          15 She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and portionsn for her servants.o

                          References for Proverbs 31:15

                              16 She evaluates a field and buys it; she plants a vineyard with her earnings.p

                              References for Proverbs 31:16

                                • p 31:16 - Or vineyard by her own labors
                                  17 She draws on her strengthq and reveals that her arms are strong.r

                                  References for Proverbs 31:17

                                    • q 31:17 - Lit She wraps strength around her like a belt
                                    • r 31:17 - Pr 31:25
                                      18 She sees that her profits are good, and her lamp never goes out at night.
                                      19 She extends her hands to the spinning staff, and her hands hold the spindle.s

                                      References for Proverbs 31:19

                                          20 Her hands reacht out to the poor, and she extends her hands to the needy.

                                          References for Proverbs 31:20

                                            • t 31:20 - Lit Her hand reaches
                                              21 She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her household are doubly clothed.u

                                              References for Proverbs 31:21

                                                • u 31:21 - LXX, Vg; MT reads are dressed in scarlet
                                                  22 She makes her own bed coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
                                                  23 Her husband is known at the city gates, where he sits among the elders of the land.v

                                                  References for Proverbs 31:23

                                                    • v 31:23 - Pr 24:7; 31:31
                                                      24 She makes and sells linen garments; she delivers beltsw to the merchants.

                                                      References for Proverbs 31:24

                                                          25 Strength and honor are her clothing,x and she can laugh at the time to come.y

                                                          References for Proverbs 31:25

                                                              26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instructionz is on her tongue.

                                                              References for Proverbs 31:26

                                                                • z 31:26 - Or and the teaching of kindness
                                                                  27 She watches over the activities of her household{ and is never idle.|

                                                                  References for Proverbs 31:27

                                                                    • { 31:27 - Pr 31:15
                                                                    • | 31:27 - Lit and does not eat the bread of idleness
                                                                      28 Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her:
                                                                      29 "Many women} are capable, but you surpass them all!"~

                                                                      References for Proverbs 31:29

                                                                        • } 31:29 - Lit daughters
                                                                        • ~ 31:29 - Pr 12:4; 31:10
                                                                          30 Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
                                                                          31 Give her the reward of her labor, and let her works praise her at the city gates.

                                                                          References for Proverbs 31:31

                                                                            •  31:31 - Lit the fruit of her hands