The Words of King Lemuel1 The 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, b son of my womb?
What are you doing, c son of my vows?
3 Do d not give your strength to women,
your ways to those e who destroy kings.
4 f It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings g to drink wine,
or for rulers to take h strong drink,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and i pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to the one who j is perishing,
and wine to k those in bitter distress; ▼
▼ Hebrew those bitter in soul
7 m let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8 n Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute. ▼
▼ Hebrew are sons of passing away
9 Open your mouth p judge righteously,
q defend the rights of r the 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 alphabett An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than u jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She v seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She w rises while it is yet night
and x provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She y dresses herself ▼
▼ Hebrew She girds her loinswith strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She aa opens her hand to ab the poor
and reaches out her hands to ac the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in ad scarlet. ▼
▼ Or in double thickness
22 She makes af bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is ag fine linen and ah purple.
23 Her husband is known in ai the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes aj linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 ak Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching 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 children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many al women have done am excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 an Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
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