1These are the sayings of King Lemuel. His mother taught them to him. These sayings came from God.
2Listen, my son! Listen, my very own son!
Listen, you who are the answer to my prayers!
3Don’t waste your strength on women.
Don’t waste it on those who destroy kings.
4Lemuel, it isn’t good for kings to drink wine.
It isn’t good for rulers to long for beer.
5If they do, they might drink and forget what has been commanded.
They might take away the rights of all those who are treated badly.
6Let beer be for those who are dying.
Let wine be for those who are sad and troubled.
7Let them drink and forget how poor they are.
Let them forget their suffering.
8Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.
Speak up for the rights of all those who are poor.
9Speak up and judge fairly.
Speak up for the rights of those who are poor and needy.
10Who can find an excellent woman?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11Her husband trusts her completely.
She gives him all the important things he needs.
12She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She chooses wool and flax.
She loves to work with her hands.
14She is like the ships of traders.
She brings her food from far away.
15She gets up while it is still night.
She provides food for her family.
She also gives some to her female servants.
16She considers a field and buys it.
She uses some of the money she earns to plant a vineyard.
17She gets ready to work hard.
Her arms are strong.
18She sees that her trading earns a lot of money.
Her lamp doesn’t go out at night.
19With one hand she holds the wool.
With the other she spins the thread.
20She opens her arms to those who are poor.
She reaches out her hands to those who are needy.
21When it snows, she’s not afraid for her family.
All of them are dressed in the finest clothes.
22She makes her own bed coverings.
She is dressed in fine linen and purple clothes.
23Her husband is respected at the city gate.
There he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen clothes and sells them.
She supplies belts to the traders.
25She puts on strength and honor as if they were her clothes.
She can laugh at the days that are coming.
26She speaks wisely.
She teaches faithfully.
27She watches over family matters.
She is busy all the time.
28Her children stand up and call her blessed.
Her husband also rises up, and he praises her.
29He says, “Many women do excellent things.
But you are better than all the others.”
30Charm can fool you. Beauty fades.
But a woman who has respect for the Lord should be praised.
31Give her honor for all that her hands have done.
Let everything she has done bring praise to her at the city gate.