Amplified Bible

Proverbs 31

The Words of Lemuel

1The words of [a]King Lemuel, the oracle, which his mother taught him:


What, O my [b]son?
And what, O son of my womb?
And what [shall I advise you], O son of my vows?

Do not give your [generative] strength to women [neither foreign wives in marriages of alliances, nor [c]concubines],
Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.

It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire strong drink,

Otherwise they drink and forget the law and its decrees,
And pervert the rights and justice of all the afflicted.

Give strong drink [as medicine] to him who is ready to pass away,
And wine to him whose life is bitter.

Let him drink and forget his poverty
And no longer remember his trouble.

Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all who are unfortunate and defenseless;

Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And administer justice for the afflicted and needy.

Description of a Worthy Woman

10 
[d]An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her?
Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.
11 
The heart of her husband trusts in her [with secure confidence],
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 
She comforts, encourages, and does him only good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 
She looks for wool and flax
And works with willing hands in delight.
14 
She is like the merchant ships [abounding with treasure];
She brings her [household’s] food from far away.
15 
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And assigns tasks to her maids.
16 
She considers a field before she buys or accepts it [expanding her business prudently];
With her profits she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
17 
She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]
And makes her arms strong.
18 
She sees that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out, but it burns continually through the night [she is prepared for whatever lies ahead].
19 
She stretches out her hands to the [e]distaff,
And her hands hold the spindle [as she spins wool into thread for clothing].
20 
She opens and extends her hand to the poor,
And she reaches out her filled hands to the needy.
21 
She does not fear the snow for her household,
For all in her household are clothed in [expensive] scarlet [wool].
22 
She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry.
Her clothing is linen, pure and fine, and purple [wool].
23 
Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 
She makes [fine] linen garments and sells them;
And supplies sashes to the merchants.
25 
Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure;
And she smiles at the future [knowing that she and her family are prepared].
26 
She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction].
27 
She looks well to how things go in her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 
Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired);
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying,
29 
“Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness],
[f]But you excel them all.”
30 
Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.
31 
Give her of the product of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city].

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 31:1 The identity of King Lemuel is uncertain; however, ancient Jewish tradition connects Lemuel with Solomon.
  2. Proverbs 31:2 This chapter consists of two poetic sections. The first (vv 2-9) details the qualities needed to be a wise ruler, and the second (vv 10-31) the qualities describing an excellent wife.
  3. Proverbs 31:3 See note Gen 22:24.
  4. Proverbs 31:10 The following verses are written as an acrostic poem (each of the twenty-two verses begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet). Aside from the artistry, the acrostic structure also aided memorization.
  5. Proverbs 31:19 I.e. the staff that holds the textile fibers for spinning.
  6. Proverbs 31:29 The source of this remarkable woman’s success and competence is revealed in v 30, and it is a source available to everyone. She is wise because she understands and puts into practice the message contained in 9:10.

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

箴言 31

利慕伊勒王的箴言

1以下是利慕伊勒王的箴言,

    是他母亲给他的教诲:

我儿,我亲生的骨肉,
    我许愿得来的孩子啊,
    我该怎样教导你呢?
不要在女人身上耗废精力,
    不要迷恋那些能毁灭王的人。
利慕伊勒啊,
    君王不可喝酒,
    不可喝酒,
    首领不宜喝烈酒,
免得喝酒后忘记律例,
    不为困苦人伸张正义。
把烈酒给灭亡的人,
    把淡酒给忧伤的人,
让他们喝了忘掉贫穷,
    不再记得自己的痛苦。
要为不能自辩者说话,
    为一切不幸的人申冤。
你要发言,秉公审判,
    为贫穷困苦者主持公道。

贤德的妻子

10 谁能找到贤德之妻?
    她的价值远胜过珠宝。
11 她丈夫信赖她,
    什么也不缺乏。
12 她一生对丈夫有益无损。
13 她寻找羊毛和细麻,
    愉快地亲手做衣。
14 她好像商船,
    从远方运来粮食。
15 天未亮她就起床,
    为全家预备食物,
    分派女仆做家事。
16 她选中田地便买下来,
    亲手赚钱栽种葡萄园。
17 她精力充沛,
    双臂有力。
18 她深谙经营之道,
    她的灯彻夜不熄。
19 她手拿卷线杆,
    手握纺线锤。
20 她乐于周济穷人,
    伸手帮助困苦者。
21 她不因下雪而为家人担心,
    因为全家都穿着朱红暖衣。
22 她为自己缝制绣花毯,
    用细麻和紫布做衣服。
23 她丈夫在城门口与当地长老同坐,
    受人尊重。
24 她缝制细麻衣裳出售,
    又制作腰带卖给商人。
25 她充满力量和尊荣,
    她以笑颜迎接未来。
26 她说的话带着智慧,
    她的训言充满慈爱。
27 她料理一切家务,
    从不偷懒吃闲饭。
28 她的儿女肃立,
    为她祝福,
    她的丈夫也称赞她,
29 说:“世上贤德的女子很多,
    唯有你无与伦比。”
30 艳丽是虚假的,
    美貌是短暂的,
    唯有敬畏耶和华的女子配得称赞。
31 愿她享受自己的劳动成果,
    愿她的事迹使她在城门口受称赞。