1 The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him: 2 What, O my son? And what, O ason of my womb? And what, O son of my bvows? 3 aDo not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which bdestroys kings. 4 It is not for akings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to bdrink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, 5 For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And apervert the rights of all the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink to him who is aperishing, And wine to him bwhose life is bitter. 7 Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more. 8 aOpen your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate. 9 Open your mouth, ajudge righteously, And defend the brights of the afflicted and needy. 10 An aexcellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far babove jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight. 14 She is like amerchant ships; She brings her food from afar. 15 She arises also while it is still night And bgives food to her household And portions to her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She agirds herself with strength And makes her arms strong. 18 She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle. 20 She aextends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are aclothed with scarlet. 22 She makes acoverings for herself; Her clothing is bfine linen and cpurple. 23 Her husband is known ain the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes alinen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen. 25 Strength and adignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 26 She aopens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the abread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 29 "Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all." 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who afears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.