1The words of Lemuel, king of Massa. The advice which his mother gave him: 2What, my son, my first‐born! what, O son of my womb;! what, O son of my vows! 3Give not your vigor to women, nor your strength to those who ruin kings. s Prv 5, 9 . 4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, not for kings to drink wine; strong drink is not for princes! t Prv 20, 1 . 5Lest in drinking they forget what the law decrees, and violate the rights of all who are in need. 6Give strong drink to one who is perishing, and wine to the sorely depressed; 7When they drink, they will forget their misery, and think no more of their burdens. 8Open your mouth in behalf of the dumb, and for the rights of the destitute; 9Open your mouth, decree what is just, defend the needy and the poor!
10When one finds a worthy wife, u 10–31: Sir 26, 1ff. 13–18 . her value is far beyond pearls. 11Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. 12She brings him good, and not evil,* all the days of her life. 13She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands. 14Like merchant* ships, she secures her provisions from afar. 15She rises while it is still night, and distributes food to her household. 16She picks out a field to purchase; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17She is girt about with strength, and sturdy are her arms. 18She enjoys the success of her dealings; at night her lamp is undimmed.* 19She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. 20She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. 21She fears not the snow for her household; all her charges are doubly clothed. 22She makes her own coverlets; fine linen and purple are her clothing. 23Her husband is prominent at the city gates as he sits with the elders of the land. 24She makes garments and sells them, and stocks the merchants with belts. 25She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs at the days to come.* 26She opens her mouth in wisdom, and on her tongue is kindly counsel. 27She watches the conduct of her household, and eats not her food in idleness. 28Her children rise up and praise her; her husband, too, extols her: 29“Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all.” 30Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.* 31Give her a reward of her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.