Bishops' Bible

Proverbs 31

Lemuel's lesson of chastity and temperance.

Proverbs 31:1 The wordes of king Lamuel, and the lesson that his mother taught him. Proverbs 31:2 What my sonne? what the sonne of my body? and what O my deare beloued sonne? Proverbs 31:3 Geue not ouer thy strength & wayes vnto women, which are the destruction euen of kynges. Proverbs 31:4 O Lamuel, it is not for kynges, it is not [I say] for kynges to drynke wine, nor princes strong drynke. Proverbs 31:5 Lest they by drnkyng forget the lawe, and peruert the iudgement of all poore mens children.

The afflicted are to be comforted and defended.

Proverbs 31:6 Geue strong drynke vnto such as are redy to perishe, and wine vnto those that mourne: Proverbs 31:7 That they may drynke it, and forget their miserie and aduersitie. Proverbs 31:8 Be thou an aduocate for the dumbe, [to speake] in the cause of all such as be succourlesse in this transitorie worlde. Proverbs 31:9 Open thy mouth, defende the thyng that is lawfull and ryght, and the cause of the poore and helpelesse.

The praise and properties of a good wife.

Proverbs 31:10 Who so fyndeth an honest faythfull woman, she is much more worth then pearles. Proverbs 31:11 The heart of her husbande may safely trust in her, so that he shall fall into no pouertie. Proverbs 31:12 She wyll do hym good, and not euill, all the dayes of her lyfe. Proverbs 31:13 She occupieth wooll and flaxe, and laboureth gladly with her handes. Proverbs 31:14 She is like a marchauntes ship, that bryngeth her vittayles from a farre. Proverbs 31:15 She is vp in the nyght season, to prouide meate for her housholde, and foode for her maydens. Proverbs 31:16 She considereth lande, and byeth it: and with the fruite of her handes she planteth a vineyarde. Proverbs 31:17 She girdeth her loynes with strength, and fortifieth her armes. Proverbs 31:18 And yf she perceaue that her huswiferie doth good, her candell goeth not out by nyght. Proverbs 31:19 She layeth her fingers to the spindle, & her hande taketh holde of the distaffe. Proverbs 31:20 She openeth her hande to the poore, yea she stretcheth foorth her handes to such as haue neede. Proverbs 31:21 She feareth not that the colde of wynter shall hurt her housholde, for all her housholde folkes are clothed with scarlet. Proverbs 31:22 She maketh her selfe faire ornametes, her clothyng is white silke and purple. Proverbs 31:23 Her husbande is much set by in the gates, when he sitteth among the rulers of the lande. Proverbs 31:24 She maketh cloth of silke, and selleth it: and deliuereth girdles vnto the marchaunt. Proverbs 31:25 Strength and honour is her clothing, and in the latter day she shall reioyce. Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdome, and in her tongue is the lawe of grace. Proverbs 31:27 She loketh well to the wayes of her housholde: and eateth not her bread with idlenesse. Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise vp & call her blessed: and her husbande shall make much of her. Proverbs 31:29 Many daughters [there be that] gather riches together: but thou goest aboue them all. Proverbs 31:30 As for fauour it is deceiptfull, & beautie is a vayne thyng: but a woman that feareth the Lorde, shalbe praysed. Proverbs 31:31 Geue her of the fruite of her handes: and let her owne workes prayse her in the gates.

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