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Fleming Don Bridgeway Bible

Proverbs 31

1. The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.

2. What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?

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

4. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:

5. Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

6. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

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

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

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

10. Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

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

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

14. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

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

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

17. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

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

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

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

22. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

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

24. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

25. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

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

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

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

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

30. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

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

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Proverbs 31

A mother’s advice to a king (31:1-9) King Lemuel was probably a non-Israelite from a neighbouring nation, but his mother appears to have been a God-fearing woman who vowed her son to God (31:1-2). The main desire of some kings was to get themselves as much pleasure as possible, chiefly through women and wine. Lemuel is warned that such interests distract a king from his proper duties and result in lawlessness and injustice (3-5). Strong drink deadens pain and dulls the mind. Therefore, among the people who seek after it are those whose distress is so great that life seems to have no more hope for them. The king should not seek after it, for he must have a clear mind at all times, so that he can judge with justice and defend the downtrodden (6-9).


The ideal wife (31:10-31) In the original language this section is an acrostic poem. That is, each of the poem’s twenty-two verses begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order. A good wife makes the perfect partner. Her husband, knowing this, trusts in her and depends upon her (10-12). She is kind, clever at buying and selling, diligent, conscientious, and a good manager of the household (13-16). She is energetic and tireless, both in helping the family income and in carrying out household tasks (17-19). Though a good business-woman, she is not hard-hearted. Though careful in handling money, she is not miserly. She gives generous help to the poor and needy (20). In like manner this ideal wife is generous towards her family. When making clothes she uses good cloth, so that all in her household look well dressed and, through her foresight, enjoy good protection when bad weather comes. The respect that people have for her husband is due in large measure to her (21-25). Through her wise words, kindness, consideration, diligence and reverence for God, the family is uplifted. Her children and her husband delight in her and the community at large honours her (26-31).



King James Version

This is the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible (also known as the Authorized Version). "Public Domain"




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