Proverbs 31:8-9

8 Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:8-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 31

This chapter contains the last part of the book of Proverbs; which some reckon the fifth, others the sixth. It contains the instructions of the mother of a prince, whose name was Lemuel, which she gave unto him; and which are so valuable, as to be annexed to the proverbs of Solomon. The preface or introduction to them is in Pr 31:1; the address to her son, Pr 31:2. The vices she cautions him against are uncleanness and intemperance; which she dissuades from, because of the pernicious consequences of both to kings and to their subjects, Pr 31:3-5. Advises rather to give wine and strong drink to poor people, such as are in distress; as being more useful to them, at least less prejudicial, Pr 31:6,7; and exhorts her son to the duties of his office; by pleading the cause of the poor and injured, and administering justice to them, Pr 31:8,9. And then at large describes a virtuous woman; perhaps designed as an instruction to her son in the choice of a wife, Pr 31:10-31; though more than that may be intended by it.

Proverbs 31:8-9 In-Context

6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
7 Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more.
8 Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.
10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.

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Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Literally sons of passing away
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.