A Mother’s OracleThe words of King Lemuel, the oracle unto which his mother disciplined him: 2
What, O my son?
And what, O son of my womb?
And what, O son of my vows? 3
Do not give your excellence to women,
Or your ways to that which blots out kings. 4
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire strong drink, 5
Lest he drink and forget what is decreed,
And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. 6
Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to those whose soul is bitter. 7
Let him drink and forget his poverty
And he will not remember his trouble any longer. 8
Open your mouth for the mute,
For the justice of all those passing away. 9
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And render justice to the afflicted and needy.
A Woman Who Fears Yahweh
An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above pearls.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She deals bountifully with him for good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She searches for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
And she rises while it is still night,
And gives food to her household
And a portion to her young women.
She makes plans for a field and buys it;
From the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands hold fast the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits with the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And gives belts to the tradesmen.
Strength and majesty are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the instruction of lovingkindness is on her tongue.
She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
As for her husband, he also praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done excellently,
But you have gone above them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears Yahweh, she shall be praised.
Give to her from the fruit of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.