It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink, lest they forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Strong drink be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
Let him drink and forget his poverty
and remember his misery no more.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night – she provides food for her family,
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it – out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously – her arms are strong for her tasks.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable, and her candle does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff, and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household – for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed – she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate – where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity – she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household – and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed – her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many daughters do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates