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The Blue Letter Bible

Proverbs 31 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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The Words of King Lemuel

Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:1 - The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:2 - What are you doing, my son?[fn] What are you doing, son of my womb?
What are you doing, son of my vows?
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:3 - Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:4 - It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:5 - lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:6 - Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:7 - let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:8 - Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:9 - Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:10 - [fn] An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:11 - The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:12 - She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:13 - She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:14 - She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:15 - She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:16 - She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:17 - She dresses herself[fn] with strength
and makes her arms strong.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:18 - She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:19 - She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:20 - She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:21 - She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:22 - She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:23 - Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:24 - She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:25 - Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:26 - She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:27 - She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:29 - “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:30 - Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Unchecked Copy BoxPro 31:31 - Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
ESV Footnotes
Hebrew What, my son?
Hebrew those bitter in soul
Hebrew are sons of passing away
Verses 10–31 are an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet
Hebrew She girds her loins
Or in double thickness

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Books and Bibles, a Publishing Ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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