1 The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him:
1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
1 The words of King Lemuel a pronouncement with which his mother encouraged him.
1 The words of Lemuel king of Massa, which his mother taught him:
2 What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows?
2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
2 No, my son! No, my son whom I conceived! No, my son to whom I gave birth!
2 What, my son? What, son of my womb? What [shall I advise you], son of my vows and dedication to God?
3 Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings.
3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
3 Never devote all your energy to sex, or dedicate your life to destroying kings.
3 Give not your strength to [loose] women, nor your ways to those who and that which ruin and destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink,
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel Not for kings to drink wine or for rulers to desire liquor.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire strong drink,
5 For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
5 Otherwise, they may drink and forget what has been ordained, perverting justice for all the oppressed.
5 Lest they drink and forget the law and what it decrees, and pervert the justice due any of the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter.
6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
6 Give liquor to someone who is perishing, and wine to someone who is deeply depressed.
6 Give strong drink [as medicine] to him who is ready to pass away, and wine to him in bitter distress of heart.
7 Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more.
7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
7 Let him drink, forget his poverty, and remember his troubles no more.
7 Let him drink and forget his poverty and [seriously] remember his want and misery no more.
8 Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate.
8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
8 Speak for those who cannot speak; seek justice for all those on the verge of destruction.
8 Open your mouth for the dumb [those unable to speak for themselves], for the rights of all who are left desolate and defenseless;
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
9 Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and oppressed.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, and administer justice for the poor and needy.
10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
10 Who can find a capable wife? Her value far exceeds the finest jewels.
10 A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman -- "who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her; as a result, he lacks nothing of value.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.
12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
12 She will bring good to him never evil every day of her life.
12 She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.
13 She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
13 She seeks out wool and flax, working with eager hands.
13 She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it].
14 She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
14 She is like a seagoing ship that brings her food from far away.
14 She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household's food from a far [country].
15 She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
15 She rises while it is still night, preparing meals for her family and providing for her women servants.
15 She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.
16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
16 She evaluates a field and purchases it; from the proceeds she plants a vineyard.
16 She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
17 She clothes herself with fortitude, and fortifies her arms with strength.
17 She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.
18 She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
18 She is confident that her profits are sufficient. Her lamp does not go out at night.
18 She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
19 She works with her own hands on her clothes her hands work the sewing spindle.
19 She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
20 She reaches out to the poor, opening her hands to those in need.
20 She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
21 She is unafraid of winter's effect on her household, because all of them are warmly clothed.
21 She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
22 She creates her own bedding, using fine linen and violet cloth.
22 She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made].
23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
23 Her husband is well known; he sits among the leaders of the land.
23 Her husband is known in the [city's] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
24 She designs and sells linen garments, supplying accessories to clothiers.
24 She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service].
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
25 Strength and dignity are her garments; she smiles about the future.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
26 She speaks wisely, teaching with gracious love.
26 She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].
27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
27 She looks discretely to the affairs of her household, and she is never lazy.
27 She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.
28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
28 Her children stand up and encourage her, as does her husband, who praises her:
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying],
29 "Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all."
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
29 "Many women have done wonderful things," he says, "but you surpass all of them!"
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty fades; but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised.
30 Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!
31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
31 Reward her for her work let her actions result in public praise.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]!
International Standard Version Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation.
New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org