EveryMans NLT Proverbs - Page 43



page 869 | Proverbs 31
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.
20
An adulterous woman consumes a man,
then wipes her mouth and says,
“What’s wrong with that?”
There are three things that make
the earth tremble—
no, four it cannot endure:
22 a slave who becomes a king,
an overbearing fool who prospers,
23
a bitter woman who finally gets
a husband,
a servant girl who supplants her mistress.
21
There are four things on earth that are
small but unusually wise:
25 Ants—they aren’t strong,
but they store up food all summer.
26 Hyraxes*—they aren’t powerful,
but they make their homes among
the rocks.
27 Locusts—they have no king,
but they march in formation.
28 Lizards—they are easy to catch,
but they are found even in kings’
palaces.
3
do not waste your strength on women,
on those who ruin kings.
4
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle
wine.
Rulers should not crave alcohol.
For if they drink, they may forget the
law
and not give justice to the oppressed.
Alcohol is for the dying,
and wine for those in bitter distress.
Let them drink to forget their poverty
and remember their troubles no more.
5
6
7
8
24
There are three things that walk with
stately stride—
no, four that strut about:
30 the lion, king of animals, who won’t turn
aside for anything,
31
the strutting rooster,
the male goat,
a king as he leads his army.
29
32
33
If you have been a fool by being proud
or plotting evil,
cover your mouth in shame.
As the beating of cream yields butter
and striking the nose causes bleeding,
so stirring up anger causes quarrels.
9
A Wife of Noble Character
*Who can find a virtuous and capable
wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
10
13
14
15
16
17
18
31
The Sayings of King Lemuel
The sayings of King Lemuel contain
this message,* which his mother
taught him.
2
O my son, O son of my womb,
O son of my vows,
Speak up for those who cannot speak
for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.
19
20
She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up before dawn to prepare
breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her
servant girls.
She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a
vineyard.
She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
She makes sure her dealings are
profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
30:26 Or Coneys, or Rock badgers. 31:1 Or of Lemuel, king of Massa; or of King Lemuel, an oracle. 31:10 Verses 10-31
comprise a Hebrew acrostic poem; each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
31:10-31 Some women compare themselves to the wife in this chapter and feel inadequate. Actually, the
woman of Proverbs 31 represents a description of the ideal wife. No wife ever has or ever will completely
measure up to all these standards. A wife should not fall into the perfectionist’s trap of striving to measure up
to these ideal standards. This will inevitably lead to frustration and despair. Instead, a woman should accept
herself for who she is and commit to a process of asking God to transform her more and more into his likeness. As she grows to be more like him, she will naturally exhibit many of the characteristics of this “ideal wife.”





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