1 The words of King Lemʹuel, the weighty message his mother gave to instruct him:
2 What should I tell you, O my son, What, O son of my womb, And what, O son of my vows?
3 Do not give your vigor to women, Nor follow ways that destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemʹuel, It is not for kings to drink wine Nor for rulers to say, “Where is my drink?”
5 So that they do not drink and forget what is decreed And pervert the rights of the lowly ones.
6 Give alcohol to those who are perishing And wine to those in bitter distress.
7 Let them drink and forget their poverty; Let them remember their trouble no more.
8 Speak up in behalf of the speechless; Defend the rights of all who are perishing.
9 Speak up and judge righteously; Defend the rights of the lowly and the poor.
10 Who can find a capable wife? Her value is far more than that of corals.
11 Her husband trusts her from his heart, And he lacks nothing of value.
12 She rewards him with good, not bad, All the days of her life.
13 She obtains wool and linen; She delights to work with her hands.
14 She is like the ships of a merchant, Bringing her food in from afar.
15 She also rises while it is still night, Providing food for her household And portions for her female servants.
16 She sets her mind on a field and buys it; She plants a vineyard from her own labors.
17 She prepares herself for hard work, And she strengthens her arms.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable; Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 Her hands seize the distaff, And her hands take hold of the spindle.
20 She extends her palm to the lowly one, And she opens her hands to the poor.
21 She does not worry about her household because of the snow, For her whole household is clothed in warm garments.
22 She makes her own bed covers. Her clothing is of linen and purple wool.
23 Her husband is well-known in the city gates, Where he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes and sells linen garments And supplies belts to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and splendor, And she looks to the future with confidence.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom; The law of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the activity of her household, And the bread of laziness she does not eat.
28 Her children rise up and declare her happy; Her husband rises up and praises her.
29 There are many capable women, But you—you surpass them all.
30 Charm may be false, and beauty may be fleeting, But the woman who fears Jehovah will be praised.
31 Give her the reward for what she does, And let her works praise her in the city gates.