The Words of Lemuel
2 What should I say, my son? What, son of my womb? What, son of my vows? 3 Don’t spend your energy on women or your efforts on those who destroy kings. 4 It is not for kings, Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine or for rulers to desire beer. 5 Otherwise, they[b] will drink, forget what is decreed, and pervert justice for all the oppressed.[c] 6 Give beer to one who is dying and wine to one whose life is bitter. 7 Let him drink so that he can forget his poverty and remember his trouble no more. 8 Speak up[d] for those who have no voice,[e] for the justice of all who are dispossessed.[f] 9 Speak up,[g] judge righteously, and defend the cause of[h] the oppressed and needy.
In Praise of a Capable Wife
10 Who can find a capable wife?[i] She is far more precious than jewels.[j] 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. 12 She rewards him with good, not evil, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from far away. 15 She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and portions[k] for her female servants. 16 She evaluates a field and buys it; she plants a vineyard with her earnings.[l] 17 She draws on her strength[m] and reveals that her arms are strong. 18 She sees that her profits are good, and her lamp never goes out at night. 19 She extends her hands to the spinning staff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 Her hands reach[n] out to the poor, and she extends her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her household are doubly clothed.[o] 22 She makes her own bed coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known at the city gates, where he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes and sells linen garments; she delivers belts[p] to the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction[q] is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle.[r] 28 Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: 29 “Many women[s] are capable, but you surpass them all!” 30 Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. 31 Give her the reward of her labor,[t] and let her works praise her at the city gates.