1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy with which his mother instructed him.
2 What hast thou done, O my son: and what, O son of my body? and what, O son of my vows?
3 Give not unto women thy vigor, nor thy ways to those that ruin kings.
4 Not for kings, O Lemoel, not for kings it is fitting to drink wine, nor for princes, strong drink:
5 Lest either might drink, and forget what is written in the law, and pervert the cause of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those who have an embittered soul.
7 Let such a one drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his trouble no more.
8 Open thy mouth for the dumb, for the cause of all fatherless children.
9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and decide the cause of the poor and needy.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman: for far above pearls is her value.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, and he will not see his gain diminish.
12 She treateth him well and not ill, all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh for wool and flax, and worketh with her willing hands.
14 She is become like the merchants ships: from afar doth she bring her food.
15 And she riseth while it is yet night, and giveth provision to her household, and a task to her maidens.
16 She thinketh of a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth with strength her loins, and giveth vigor to her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her profit is good: therefore her lamp goeth not out by night.
19 She stretcheth out her hands to the spindle, and her palms hold fast the distaff.
20 She spreadeth out wide her open palm to the poor: yea, her hands she stretcheth forth to the needy.
21 She hath no fear for her household of the snow: for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 Tapestrycovering she maketh for herself: of linen and purple is her attire.
23 Well known is in the gates her husband, when he sitteth with the elders of the land.
24 Fine tunics she maketh, and selleth them, and girdles she furnisheth unto the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing: and she smileth at the coming of the last day.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and the bread of idleness she doth not eat.
28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband, also, and he praiseth her:
29 "Many daughters have done virtuously; but thou excellest them all."
30 False is grace, and vain is beauty: a woman only that feareth the Lord shall indeed be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.