The Words of King Lemuel1The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: 2 What are you doing, my son? ▼
▼Hebrew What, my son?What are you doing, bson of my womb?
What are you doing, cson of my vows?
3Do dnot give your strength to women,
your ways to those ewho destroy kings.
4 fIt is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings gto drink wine,
or for rulers to take hstrong drink,
5lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and ipervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6Give strong drink to the one who jis perishing,
and wine to kthose in bitter distress; ▼
▼Hebrew those bitter in soul
7 mlet them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8 nOpen your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute. ▼
▼Hebrew are sons of passing away
9Open your mouth pjudge righteously,
qdefend the rights of rthe poor and needy.
The Woman Who Fears the Lord10 ▼
▼Verses 10–31 are an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabettAn excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than ujewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She vseeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15She wrises while it is yet night
and xprovides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17She ydresses herself ▼
▼Hebrew She girds her loinswith strength
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She aaopens her hand to abthe poor
and reaches out her hands to acthe needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in adscarlet. ▼
▼Or in double thickness
22She makes afbed coverings for herself;
her clothing is agfine linen and ahpurple.
23Her husband is known in aithe gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes ajlinen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 akStrength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29“Many alwomen have done amexcellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 anCharm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
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