1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
2 What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?
3 Do not give your strength to women. Do not give your ways to that which destroys kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel; it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes to desire strong drink.
5 They will drink and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish, and wine to those who are bitter.
7 Let him drink and forget his poverty. Let him remember his misery no more.
8 Open your mouth for the dumb in the cause of all who are appointed to destruction.
9 Open your mouth and judge righteously. Plead the cause of the poor and needy.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? For her value is far above corals.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her. He will have no lack of gain.
12 She will do 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 merchants' ships for she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it. With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She fortifies herself with strength and strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good. Her candle does not go out at night.
19 She stretches her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretches out her hand to the poor. Yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household. All her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes herself coverings of tapestry. Her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes fine linen and sells it. She supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing. She will rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness she speaks kind things.
27 She watches over her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her.
29 Many daughters have done well, but you are above them all.
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain. But a woman who respects Jehovah will be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands. Let her own works praise her in the gates.