The Bible in Its Traditions

Proverbs 31:1–31

M V
G
S

The words of king Lemuel; the burden wherewith his mother corrected him.

My words have been spoken by God—the oracular answer of a king, whom his mother instructed.

THE words of Moael, a king and prophet, which his mother taught him, saying,

What, my son? and what, O son of my womb? and what, O son of my vows?

What wilt thou keep, my son, what? the words of God. My firstborn son, I speak to thee: what? son of my womb? what? son of my vows?

Oh my son! Oh the son of my womb! Oh the son of my vows!

M S
G
V

Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

Give not thy wealth to women, nor thy mind and living to remorse. Do all things with counsel: drink wine with counsel.

Do not give your substance to women, or your riches to overthrow kings.

M V S
G

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine: nor for princes to say: 'Where is strong drink?'

Princes are prone to anger: let them then not drink wine

M G
V
S

Lest they drink, and forget that which is decreed, and pervert the justice due to any that is afflicted.

And perhaps they may drink and forget judgments, and alter the case of the sons of the poor.

Lest you drink and forget the law and forsake the judgment of the afflicted.

M G V
S

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto the bitter in soul;

Let strong drink be given to those who mourn, and wine to those who are of heavy heart,

M
G S
V

Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

that they may forget their poverty, and may not remember their troubles any more.

Let them drink, and forget their needs, and remember their sorrow no more.

M G
V S

Open thy mouth for the dumb, in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

Open your mouth for the mute and for all the cases of the sons who are passing through.

M G S
V

Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Open your mouth, declare what is just, and do justice to the indigent and the poor.

M
G V
S

10  A woman of valour who can find? for her price is far above rubies.

10  Who shall find a virtuous woman? for such a one is more valuable than precious stones.

10  Who can find a diligent woman? For her price is far above rubies.

M G V S

11  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, and he hath no lack of gain.

M S
G
V

12  She doeth him good and not evil all the days of her life.

12  For she employs all her living for her husband’s good.

12  She will repay him with good, and not evil, all the days of her life.

13  She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

13  Gathering wool and flax, she makes it serviceable with her hands.

13  She has sought wool and flax, and she has worked these by the counsel of her hands.

14  She is like the merchant-ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

14  She is like a ship trading from a distance: so she procures her livelihood.

14  She has become like a merchant’s ship, bringing her bread from far away.

15  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth food to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

15  And she rises by night, and gives food to her household, and appointed tasks to her maidens.

15  And she has risen in the night, and given a prey to her household, and provisions to her maids.

16  She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

16  She views a farm, and buys it: and with the fruit of her hands she plants and a possession.

16  She has considered a field and bought it. From the fruit of her own hands, she has planted a vineyard.

17  She girdeth her loins with strength, and maketh strong her arms.

17  She strongly girds her loins, and strengthens her arms for work.

17  She has wrapped her waist with fortitude, and she has strengthened her arm.

18  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good; her lamp goeth not out by night.

18  And she finds by experience that working is good; and her candle goes not out all night.

18  She has tasted and seen that her tasks are good; her lamp shall not be extinguished at night.

M V S
G

19  She layeth her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.

19  She reaches forth her arms to needful works, and applies her hands to the spindle.

M S
G
V

20  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

20  And she opens her hands to the needy, and reaches out fruit to the poor.

20  She has opened her hand to the needy, and she has extended her hands to the poor.

21  She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

21  Her husband is not anxious about those at home when he tarries anywhere abroad: for all her household are clothed.

21  She shall not fear, in the cold of snow, for her household. For all those of her household have been clothed two-fold.

22  She maketh for herself coverlets; her clothing is fine linen and purple.

22  She makes for her husband clothes of double texture, and garments for herself of fine linen and scarlet.

22  She has made embroidered clothing for herself. Fine linen and purple is her garment.

M V S
G

23  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

23  And her husband becomes a distinguished person in the gates, when he sits in council with the old inhabitants of the land.

M S
G
V

24  She maketh linen garments and selleth them; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

24  She makes fine linens, and sells girdles to the Chananites: she opens her mouth heedfully and with propriety, and controls her tongue.

24  She has made finely woven cloth and sold it, and she has delivered a waistband to the Canaanite.

25  Strength and dignity are her clothing; and she laugheth at the time to come.

25  She puts on strength and honour; and rejoices in the last days.

25  Strength and elegance are her clothing, and she will laugh in the final days.

26  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

26  But she opens her mouth wisely, and according to law.

26  She has opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is on her tongue.

M
G S
V

27  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

27  The ways of her household are careful, and she eats not the bread of idleness.

27  She has considered the paths of her household, and she has not eaten her bread in idleness.

M S
G
V

28  Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her

28  And her kindness to them sets up her children for them, and they grow rich, and her husband praises her.

28  Her sons rose up and predicted great happiness; her husband rose up and praised her.

M
G
V S

29  'Many daughters have done valiantly, but thou excellest them all.'

29  Many daughters have obtained wealth, many have wrought valiantly; but thou hast exceeded, thou hast surpassed all.

29  Many daughters have gathered together riches; you have surpassed them all.

M V
G
S

30  Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth YHWH, she shall be praised.

30  Charms are false, and woman’s beauty is vain: for it is a wise woman that is blessed, and let her praise the fear the Lord.

30  Comeliness is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who reverences the LORD shall be praised.

M G V S

31  Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates.