VIII. SAYINGS OF KING LEMUEL[G] CHAPTER 31 31 1The words of Lemuel, king of Massa,[H] the instruction his mother taught him: 2What are you doing, my son![I] what are you doing, son of my womb; what are you doing, son of my vows! 3Do not give your vigor to women, or your strength[J] to those who ruin kings. 4It is not for kings, Lemuel, not for kings to drink wine; strong drink is not for princes, 5Lest in drinking they forget what has been decreed, and violate the rights of any who are in need. 6Give strong drink to anyone who is perishing, and wine to the embittered; 7When they drink, they will forget their misery, and think no more of their troubles. 8Open your mouth in behalf of the mute, and for the rights of the destitute; 9Open your mouth, judge justly, defend the needy and the poor! IX. POEM ON THE WOMAN OF WORTH[K] 10Who can find[L] a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value. 11Her husband trusts her judgment; he does not lack income. 12She brings him profit, not loss,[M] all the days of her life. 13She seeks out wool and flax and weaves with skillful hands. 14Like a merchant fleet,[N] she secures her provisions from afar. 15She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household, a portion to her maidservants. 16She picks out a field and acquires it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17She girds herself with strength; she exerts her arms with vigor.[O] 18She enjoys the profit from her dealings; her lamp is never extinguished at night.[P] 19She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.[Q] 20She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. 21She is not concerned for her household when it snows— all her charges are doubly clothed. 22She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing. 23Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land.[R] 24She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts. 25She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs at the days to come.[S] 26She opens her mouth in wisdom; kindly instruction is on her tongue. 27She watches over[T] the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband, too, praises her: 29“Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all.” 30Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.[U] 31Acclaim her for the work of her hands, and let her deeds praise her at the city gates.
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