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