Proverbs 31:1-9 – The Sayings of King Lemuel
(ascribed to his mother)
In ancient times, and even in polygamous royal societies in more recent eras, it was common for children to be raised entirely by their mothers in the confines of the harem, barely knowing their fathers until their teen years. King Lemuel (about whom nothing is known) may have raised in such a way, which explains the dedication in the first verse. She seems to have been a wise woman!
The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.
It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
To wrap up the Book of Proverbs – a hymn!