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Proverbs 31:1-11 (New International Version)

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Sayings of King Lemuel

1 The sayings1 of King Lemuel--an oraclea his mother taught him: 2 "O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows,b2 3 do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.3 4 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel-- not for kings to drink wine,4 not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink5 and forget what the law decrees,6 and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. 6 Give beer to those who are perishing, wine7 to those who are in anguish; 7 let them drink8 and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. 8 "Speak9 up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."10

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 A wife of noble character11 who can find?12 She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband13 has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.14
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