The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
What are you doing, my son?a What are you doing, 1son of my womb? What are you doing, 2son of my vows?
Do 3not give your strength to women, your ways to those 4who destroy kings.
45It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings 6to drink wine, or for rulers to take 7strong drink,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and 8pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to the one who 9is perishing, and wine to 10those in bitter distress;b711let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
812Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.c9
Open your mouth, 13judge righteously, 14defend the rights of 15the poor and needy.
10d16An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than 17jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
She 18seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.
She 19rises while it is yet night and 20provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She 21dresses herselfe with strength and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
She 22opens her hand to 23the poor and reaches out her hands to 24the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in 25scarlet.f22
She makes 26bed coverings for herself; her clothing is 27fine linen and 28purple.
Her husband is known in 29the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes 30linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.
2531Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many 32women have done 33excellently, but you surpass them all."
3034Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.