The Proverbs Chapters
1 The sayings of Lemuel king of Massa, taught him by his mother:
2 What, my son! What, son of my womb! What, son of my vows!
3 Do not expend your energy on women nor your wealth on those who ruin kings.
4 Not for kings, O Lemuel, not for kings the drinking of wine, not for princes the love of liquor,
5 for fear that in liquor they forget what they have decreed and pervert the course of justice against all the poor.
6 Procure strong drink for someone about to die, wine for him whose heart is heavy:
7 let him drink and forget his misfortune, and remember his misery no more.
8 Make your views heard, on behalf of the dumb, on behalf of all the unwanted;
9 make your views heard, pronounce an upright verdict, defend the cause of the poor and the wretched.
10 The truly capable woman -- who can find her? She is far beyond the price of pearls.
11 Her husband's heart has confidence in her, from her he will derive no little profit.
12 Advantage and not hurt she brings him all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax, she does her work with eager hands.
14 She is like those merchant vessels, bringing her food from far away.
15 She gets up while it is still dark giving her household their food, giving orders to her serving girls.
16 She sets her mind on a field, then she buys it; with what her hands have earned she plants a vineyard.
17 She puts her back into her work and shows how strong her arms can be.
18 She knows that her affairs are going well; her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She sets her hands to the distaff, her fingers grasp the spindle.
20 She holds out her hands to the poor, she opens her arms to the needy.
21 Snow may come, she has no fears for her household, with all her servants warmly clothed.
22 She makes her own quilts, she is dressed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She weaves materials and sells them, she supplies the merchant with sashes.
25 She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh at the day to come.
26 When she opens her mouth, she does so wisely; on her tongue is kindly instruction.
27 She keeps good watch on the conduct of her household, no bread of idleness for her.
28 Her children stand up and proclaim her blessed, her husband, too, sings her praises:
29 'Many women have done admirable things, but you surpass them all!'
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty empty; the woman who fears Yahweh is the one to praise.
31 Give her a share in what her hands have worked for, and let her works tell her praises at the city gates.