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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.

Footnotes:

  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

Proverbs 31 New International Version (NIV)

Sayings of King Lemuel

31 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
    Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength[a] on women,
    your vigor on those who ruin kings.

It is not for kings, Lemuel—
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 31:3 Or wealth
  2. Proverbs 31:10 Verses 10-31 are an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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