Mom-in-law’s idea of perfect wife for son
Son, don’t chase women1 This is a message from King Lemuel of Massa. Actually, his mother taught it to him.
2 Hey, son, what are you doing?
I gave birth to you, now what are you doing?
I married your dad, now tell me, what are you doing?
3 Don’t chase women and let them sap the lifeforce out of you.
They can destroy kings.
4 Wine’s another problem, my dear Lemuel.
It’s not for kings.
Rulers have no business drinking the strong stuff.
5 You drink too much, and you forget the laws you passed.
You can steal justice from the hurting people who need you.
6 Give strong drinks to the dying.
Give wine to people suffering through bitter times.
7 Let the poor drink to forget how poor they are.
That way they don’t have to remember it.
8 Speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.
Defend the rights of people suffering through hard times.
9 Make some noise and judge people fairly.
Defend the rights of the helpless and the needy.
A wife my mother would love10 Who on earth can find a good wife?
She’s as rare as a bag of jewels, and worth even more.
11 Her lucky husband can trust her with everything
Because she’s got his back and that’s all he needs.
12 She brightens his day every day of his life.
Trouble doesn’t stand a chance.
13 Somehow, she manages to find the wool and flax she needs,
And she spins it with a smile.
14 She’s like a fleet of cargo ships
Importing gourmet food from abroad.
She’s up before daylight15 She gets up so early that it’s still dark outside.
She does it to make breakfast for her family.
She makes extra for the babysitter and any servants around at breakfast time.
16 She even uses her mad money to buy a plug of ground.
Then she plants a vineyard there.
17 She works hard,
And the muscles in her arms show it.
She works at night18 She knows when she’s had a good day,
But she doesn’t quit when it gets dark. Lights stay on.
19 She goes back to work,
To the chore of spinning thread.
20 She keeps her eyes open for people in need,
And she gives them a helping hand.
She makes clothes for the family21 When the cold winter wind blows, no big deal.
Her family is warm in the elegant clothes she made.
22 She makes her own quilts, too,
and dresses herself in the fine linen she deserves.
23 Movers and shakers in the city know her husband well.
All the top leaders sit with him.
She runs a business24 In her spare time she makes clothes to sell.
Retailers buy her belts and sell them again.
25 She’s a strong woman, dignified and confident.
She smiles about her future.
26 Her advice is wise
And her teaching style is gentle.
27 She’s on top of everything needed to keep the family running.
There’s not a lazy bone in her body.
How to praise a wife like this28 Her children brag about her
And so does her husband. He tells her,
29 “There are some wonderful women out there, my dear,
But you take the cake.”
30 A woman can fake charm and lose her beauty to time,
But a woman who loves God is a woman worth praising.
31 Give her everything she has worked so hard for.
And tell everyone how lucky it is that a bum like you
won a prize like her.
King Lemuel doesn’t show up anywhere else in the Bible. But he may be from the same presumably Arab region as Agur, son of Jakeh of Massa (30:1).
More literally, the verse is mostly “What?” three times. What, my son? What, son of my womb? What, son of my vows? Why what? Who knows? It’s a strange start. Some scholars guess she’s thinking out loud about what she’s going to tell him. Others say she’s saying, “What’s going on with you?” or “What’s your problem?” Or maybe it means “Listen up.” Lots of guesses. So feel free.
More literally, for all she has done, “praise her in the gates,” which is where the guys used to hang out, at the busy city gates.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.