Lemuel's lesson of chastity and temperance.
Proverbs 31:1 The wordes of kyng Lamuell, and the Prophecye that his mother taughte hym. Proverbs 31:2 My sonne, thou sonne of my body: O my deare beloued sonne, Proverbs 31:3 geue not ouer thy substaunce & mynde vnto women, whiche are the destruction euen of kinges. Proverbs 31:4 O Lamuel, geue kynges no wyne, geue kynges & princes no strong drincke: Proverbs 31:5 lest they beyng dronken forget the law, & regarde not the cause of the poore, and of al such as be in aduersite.
The afflicted are to be comforted and defended.
Proverbs 31:6 Geue strong drinke vnto suche as are condempned to death, & wyne vnto those that mourne: Proverbs 31:7 that they may drinke it, & forget their misery and aduersitie. Proverbs 31:8 Be thou an aduocate, and stande in iudgement thy selfe, to speake for all such as be domme & socourles. Proverbs 31:9 With thy mouth defende the thyng that is lawful and right, and the cause of þe poore and helpelesse.
The praise and properties of a good wife.
Proverbs 31:10 Aleph. Who so fyndeth an honest faythfull woman, she is much more worth then pearles. Proverbs 31:11 Beth. The hert of her husband may safely trust in her, so þt he shal haue no nede of spoyles. Proverbs 31:12 Gimel. She will do him good & not euell all the dayes of her lyfe. Proverbs 31:13 Daleth. She occupyeth woll and flax, and laboureth gladly with her handes. Proverbs 31:14 He. She is lyke a merchauntes shyppe, that bringeth her vitayles from a farre. Proverbs 31:15 Vau. She is vp in the night season, to prouyde meate for her housholde, and foode for her maydens. Proverbs 31:16 Zain. She considreth lande, & byeth it, & wyth þe frute of her handes she planteth a vyneyarde. Proverbs 31:17 Heth. She gyrdeth her loynes with strength, and courageth her armes. Proverbs 31:18 Teth. And if she perceyue that her houswyfrye doth good, her candle goeth not out by night. Proverbs 31:19 Iod. She layeth her fingers to the spyndle, & her hande taketh holde of the rocke. Proverbs 31:20 Caph. She openeth her hande to the poore, yea, she stretched forthe her handes too suche as haue nede. Proverbs 31:21 Lamed. She feareth not that the colde of wynter shall hurte her house, for all her housholde folkes are double clothed. Proverbs 31:22 Mem. She maketh her selfe fayre ornamentes, her clothyng is whyte silke and purple. Proverbs 31:23 Nun. Her husband is much set by in the gates, when he sitteth among the rulers of the lande. Proverbs 31:24 Samech. She maketh cloth of silke & selleth it, and deliuereth a gyrdle vnto the marchaunt. Proverbs 31:25 Ain. Strength and honour is her clothynge, & in the latter daye she shall reioyse. Proverbs 31:26 Phe. She openeth her mouth with wysdome, and in her tonge is the lawe of grace. Proverbs 31:27 Zade. She loketh well to the wayes of her housholde, & eateth not her bread with ydelnes. Proverbs 31:28 Koph. Her chyldren arise, and call her blessed: & her husbande maketh much of her. Proverbs 31:29 Res. Many daughters there be that gather riches together, but thou goest aboue them all. Proverbs 31:30 Sin. As for fauour, it is disceatfull, & beuty is a vayne thing: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she is worthy to be praysed. Proverbs 31:31 Thau. Geue her of the frute of her handes, & let her owne workes prayse her in the gates.