Proverbs 31 – New International Version (NIV)

Sayings of King Lemuel

  1. The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
  2. Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
  3. Do not spend your strength[a] on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.
  4. It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer,
  5. lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
  6. Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish!
  7. Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
  8. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
  9. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

  1. [b]A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
  2. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
  3. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
  4. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
  5. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
  6. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
  7. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
  8. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
  9. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
  10. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
  11. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
  12. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
  13. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
  14. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
  15. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
  16. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
  17. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
  18. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
  19. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
  20. “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
  21. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
  22. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


a. Proverbs 31:3 Or wealth
b. Proverbs 31:10 Verses 10-31 are an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

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Proverbs 31 – King James Version (KJV)

Words of Lemuel

  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.

The Good Wife

  1. Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
  2. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, So that he shall have no need of spoil.
  3. She will do him good and not evil All the days of her life.
  4. She seeketh wool, and flax, And worketh willingly with her hands.
  5. She is like the merchants’ ships; She bringeth her food from afar.
  6. She riseth also while it is yet night, And giveth meat to her household, And a portion to her maidens.
  7. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
  8. She girdeth her loins with strength, And strengtheneth her arms.
  9. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: Her candle goeth not out by night.
  10. She layeth her hands to the spindle, And her hands hold the distaff.
  11. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
  12. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
  13. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; Her clothing is silk and purple.
  14. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land.
  15. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; And delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
  16. Strength and honour are her clothing; And she shall rejoice in time to come.
  17. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And in her tongue is the law of kindness.
  18. She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness.
  19. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her.
  20. Many daughters have done virtuously, But thou excellest them all.
  21. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: But a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
  22. Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her own works praise her in the gates.