The Oracle of King Lemuel

1 The words of Lemuel, [the] king--an oracle that his mother taught him:
2 What, my son? And what, my son in my womb? And what, son of my vows?
3 Do not give your strength to the women, and your ways to destroy kings.
4 [It is] not for the kings, O Lemuel; drinking wine [is] not for the kings, nor [is] strong drink for rulers.
5 Or else he will drink and forget what has been decreed, and he will pervert the rights of all the {afflicted}.
6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those {in bitter distress}.
7 He will drink and forget his poverty, and his misery he will not remember [any] more.
8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the {needy}.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteousness, and defend [the] poor and needy.
10 A woman of excellence, who will find? For her worth [is] far more than precious jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and gain he will not lack.
12 She does him good, but not harm all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax, and she works with the diligence of {her hands}.
14 She is like the ships of a merchant; from far off she brings her food;
15 And she arises while [it is] still night, and gives food to her household, and tasks to her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it, from the fruit of {her hand} she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds her waist in strength, and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise [is] good; her lamp does not go out in the night.
19 Her hands she puts onto the distaff, and her palms hold a spindle.
20 Her palm she opens to the poor, and her hand she reaches [out] to the needy.
21 She does not fear for her house [when] it snows, for {her entire household} is clothed [in] crimson.
22 She makes for herself coverings; her clothing [is] fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known at the gates, in his seat among the elders of the land.
24 Linen garments she makes and sells, and she supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs {at the future}.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and instruction of kindness [is] upon her tongue.
27 She looks after the ways of her household, and the bread of idleness she will not eat.
28 Her children rise and consider her happy, her husband [also], and he praises her;
29 "Many daughters have done excellence, but {you surpass} all of them."
30 Charm [is] deceit and beauty [is] vain; [but] a woman who fears Yahweh shall be praised.
31 Give to her from the fruit of her hand, and may they praise her works in the city gates.