1 The words of king Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him.
2 What, my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?
3 Give not thy strength to women, nor thy ways to that which destroys kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for rulers [to say], Where is strong drink?
5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the justice [due] to any who is afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish, and wine to the bitter in soul.
7 Let him drink, and forget his need, and remember his misery no more.
8 Open thy mouth for the mute, in the cause of all such as are left desolate.
9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and minister justice to the poor and needy.
10 A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he shall have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships: she brings her bread from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night, and gives food to her household, and their task to her maidens.
16 She considers a field, and buys it. With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds her loins with strength, and makes strong her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She lays her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She stretches out her hand to the poor, yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes for herself carpets of tapestry. Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and delivers girdles to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her sons rise up, and call her blessed. Her husband [also], and he praises her.
29 Many daughters have done worthily, but thou excel them all.
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, [but] a woman who fears LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.