1The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy with which his mother instructed him.
2What hast thou done, O my son: and what, O son of my body? and what, O son of my vows?
3Give not unto women thy vigor, nor thy ways to those that ruin kings.
4Not for kings, O Lemoel, not for kings it is fitting to drink wine, nor for princes, strong drink:
5Lest either might drink, and forget what is written in the law, and pervert the cause of all the afflicted.
6Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those who have an embittered soul.
7Let such a one drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his trouble no more.
8Open thy mouth for the dumb, for the cause of all fatherless children.
9Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and decide the cause of the poor and needy.
10Who can find a virtuous woman: for far above pearls is her value.
11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, and he will not see his gain diminish.
12She treateth him well and not ill, all the days of her life.
13She seeketh for wool and flax, and worketh with her willing hands.
14She is become like the merchant's ships: from afar doth she bring her food.
15And she riseth while it is yet night, and giveth provision to her household, and a task to her maidens.
16She thinketh of a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17She girdeth with strength her loins, and giveth vigor to her arms.
18She perceiveth that her profit is good: therefore her lamp goeth not out by night.
19She stretcheth out her hands to the spindle, and her palms hold fast the distaff.
20She spreadeth out wide her open palm to the poor: yea, her hands she stretcheth forth to the needy.
21She hath no fear for her household of the snow: for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22Tapestry-covering she maketh for herself: of linen and purple is her attire.
23Well known is in the gates her husband, when he sitteth with the elders of the land.
24Fine tunics she maketh, and selleth them, and girdles she furnisheth unto the merchant.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing: and she smileth at the coming of the last day.
26She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and the bread of idleness she doth not eat.
28Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband, also, and he praiseth her:
29“Many daughters have done virtuously; but thou excellest them all.”
30False is grace, and vain is beauty: a woman only that feareth the Lord shall indeed be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.