The words of King L'mu'el, the prophecy with which his mother disciplined him:
No, my son! No, son of my womb! No, son of my vows!
Don't give your strength to women or your ways to that which destroys kings.
It is not for kings, L'mu'el, not for kings to drink wine; it is not for rulers to ask, "Where can I find strong liquor?"
For they may drink, then forget what has been decreed, and pervert the justice due to the poor.
Give strong liquor to one who is perishing, wine to the deeply depressed;
let him drink, forget his poverty and cease to remember his troubles.
Speak up for those who can't speak for themselves, for the rights of all who need an advocate.
Speak up, judge righteously, defend the cause of the poor and the needy.
Who can find a capable wife? Her value is far beyond that of pearls.
Her husband trusts her from his heart, and she will prove a great asset to him.
She works to bring him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She procures a supply of wool and flax and works with willing hands.
She is like those merchant vessels, bringing her food from far away.
It's still dark when she rises to give food to her household and orders to the young women serving her.
She considers a field, then buys it, and from her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She gathers her strength around her and throws herself into her work.
She sees that her business affairs go well; her lamp stays lit at night.
She puts her hands to the staff with the flax; her fingers hold the spinning rod.
She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; since all of them are doubly clothed.
She makes her own quilts; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known at the city gates when he sits with the leaders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchants with sashes.
Clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.
When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely; on her tongue is loving instruction.
She watches how things go in her house, not eating the bread of idleness.
Her children arise; they make her happy; her husband too, as he praises her:
"Many women have done wonderful things, but you surpass them all!"
Charm can lie, beauty can vanish, but a woman who fears ADONAI should be praised.
Give her a share in what she produces; let her works speak her praises at the city gates.