The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
the son of my womb
the son of my vows
Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Heb. alter. any of the afflicted. Heb. all the sons of affliction.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
of heavy hearts
Heb. bitter of soul.
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
Heb. the sons of destruction.
Psalms 79:11 *marg:
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
16:12 20:8 Leviticus 19:15 Deuteronomy 1:16 16:18-20 2 Samuel 8:15 Psalms 58:1,2 Psalms 72:1,2 Job 29:12,15,16 Isaiah 1:17,23 11:4 32:1,2 Jeremiah 5:28 Jeremiah 22:3,15,16 23:5 Daniel 4:27 Amos 5:11,12 Zechariah 7:9 9:9 John 7:24 Hebrews 1:9 Revelation 19:11
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
This is the commencement of an alphabetical poem, each verse beginning consecutively with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet; in which we are presented with an admirable picture of a good wife, according to the primitive manners of the East.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
Heb. tasteth. her candle.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
Heb. She spreadeth.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
or, double garments.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Shesh, rather fine linen, or cotton. (See on Ex 39:27.) Sadin, rendered "fine linen," ver. 24, is probably the same as the Arabic sidn, and sudl, a veil, or an inner covering of fine muslin.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
or, gotten riches. thou.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.