31 These are the wise sayings of King Lemuel of Massa,[a] taught to him at his mother’s knee:
2 O my son, whom I have dedicated to the Lord, 3 do not spend your time with women—the royal pathway to destruction.
4 And it is not for kings, O Lemuel, to drink wine and whiskey. 5 For if they drink, they may forget their duties and be unable to give justice to those who are oppressed. 6-7 Hard liquor is for sick men at the brink of death, and wine for those in deep depression. Let them drink to forget their poverty and misery.
8 You should defend those who cannot help themselves. 9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
10 If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! 11 Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs. 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life. 13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. 14 She buys imported foods brought by ship from distant ports. 15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plans the day’s work for her servant girls. 16 She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her own hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She is energetic, a hard worker, 18 and watches for bargains. She works far into the night!
19-20 She sews for the poor and generously helps those in need. 21 She has no fear of winter for her household, for she has made warm clothes for all of them. 22 She also upholsters with finest tapestry; her own clothing is beautifully made—a purple gown of pure linen. 23 Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council chamber with the other civic leaders. 24 She makes belted linen garments to sell to the merchants.
25 She is a woman of strength and dignity and has no fear of old age. 26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says. 27 She watches carefully all that goes on throughout her household and is never lazy. 28 Her children stand and bless her; so does her husband. He praises her with these words: 29 “There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all!”
30 Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn’t last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised. 31 Praise her for the many fine things she does. These good deeds of hers shall bring her honor and recognition from people of importance.[b]