Proverbs - Chapter 31

The King James Version Basic English Version (BBE)

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

1 The words of Lemuel, king of Massa: the teaching which he had from his mother.

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

2 What am I to say to you, O Lemuel, my oldest son? and what, O son of my body? and what, O son of my oaths?

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

3 Do not give your strength to women, or your ways to that which is the destruction of kings.

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

4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to take wine, or for rulers to say, Where is strong drink?

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

5 For fear that through drinking they may come to have no respect for the law, wrongly judging the cause of those who are in trouble.

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

6 Give strong drink to him who is near to destruction, and wine to him whose soul is bitter:

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

7 Let him have drink, and his need will go from his mind, and the memory of his trouble will be gone.

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

8 Let your mouth be open for those who have no voice, in the cause of those who are ready for death.

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

9 Let your mouth be open, judging rightly, and give right decisions in the cause of the poor and those in need.

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

10 Who may make discovery of a woman of virtue? For her price is much higher than jewels.

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

11 The heart of her husband has faith in her, and he will have profit in full measure.

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

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

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

13 She gets wool and linen, working at the business of her hands.

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

14 She is like the trading-ships, getting food from far away.

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

15 She gets up while it is still night, and gives meat to her family, and their food to her servant-girls.

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

16 After looking at a field with care, she gets it for a price, planting a vine-garden with the profit of her work.

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

17 She puts a band of strength round her, and makes her arms strong.

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

18 She sees that her marketing is of profit to her: her light does not go out by night.

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

19 She puts her hands to the cloth-working rod, and her fingers take the wheel.

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

20 Her hands are stretched out to the poor; yes, she is open-handed to those who are in need.

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

21 She has no fear of the snow for her family, for all those in her house are clothed in red.

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

22 She makes for herself cushions of needlework; her clothing is fair linen and purple.

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

23 Her husband is a man of note in the public place, when he takes his seat among the responsible men of the land.

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

24 She makes linen robes and gets a price for them, and traders take her cloth bands for a price.

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

25 Strength and self-respect are her clothing; she is facing the future with a smile.

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

26 Her mouth is open to give out wisdom, and the law of mercy is on her tongue.

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

27 She gives attention to the ways of her family, she does not take her food without working for it.

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

28 Her children get up and give her honour, and her husband gives her praise, saying,

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

29 Unnumbered women have done well, but you are better than all of them.

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

30 Fair looks are a deceit, and a beautiful form is of no value; but a woman who has the fear of the Lord is to be praised.

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

31 Give her credit for what her hands have made: let her be praised by her works in the public place.

Rights in the Authorized Version are vested in the Crown. Published in the United Kingdom by permission of the Crown"s patentee, Cambridge University Press.

King James Bible Music
The King James Bible Events Map
Composition Awards
Mahalia Jackson
Donate and Keep the KJV Alive
Join our newsletter database
to receive information on the
King James Bible Trust
Wallspace Gallery Historic Royal Palaces Museums, Libraries, Archives - London The American Bible Society Society of Biblical Literature