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Proverbs 31 Common English Bible (CEB)

Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel of Massa, which his mother taught him:
No, my son!
    No, son of my womb!
    No, son of my solemn promises!
Don’t give your strength to women,
    your ways to those who wipe out kings.
It isn’t for kings, Lemuel,
    it isn’t for kings to drink wine,
    for rulers to crave[a] strong drink.
Otherwise, they will drink and forget the law,
    and violate the rights of the needy.
Give strong drink to those who are perishing
    and wine to those whose hearts are bitter.
Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and no longer remember their toil.
Speak out on behalf of the voiceless,
    and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.[b]
Speak out in order to judge with righteousness
    and to defend the needy and the poor.

The competent wife

10 A competent wife, how does one find her?
    Her value is far above pearls.
11 Her husband entrusts his heart to her,
    and with her he will have all he needs.
12 She brings him good and not trouble
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks out wool and flax;
    she works joyfully with her hands.
14 She is like a fleet of merchant ships,
    bringing food from a distance.
15 She gets up while it is still night,
    providing food for her household,
    even some for her female servants.
16 She surveys a field and acquires it;
    from her own resources, she plants a vineyard.
17 She works energetically;
    her arms are powerful.
18 She realizes that her trading is successful;
    she doesn’t put out her lamp at night.
19 She puts her hands to the spindle;
    her palms grasp the whorl.
20 She reaches out to the needy;
    she stretches out her hands to the poor.
21 She doesn’t fear for her household when it snows,
    because they are all dressed in warm[c] clothes.
22 She makes bedspreads for herself;
    fine linen and purple are her clothing.
23 Her husband is known in the city gates
    when he sits with the elders of the land.
24 She makes garments and sells them;
    she supplies sashes to traders.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
    she is confident about the future.
26 Her mouth is full of wisdom;
    kindly teaching is on her tongue.
27 She is vigilant over the activities of her household;
    she doesn’t eat the food of laziness.
28 Her children bless her;
    her husband praises her:
29     “Many women act competently,
    but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Let her share in the results of her work;
    let her deeds praise her in the city gates.


  1. Proverbs 31:4 Or where or or
  2. Proverbs 31:8 Or all children who are passing away
  3. Proverbs 31:21 LXX; MT red
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible


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