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Proverbs Chapter 31  (Original 1611 KJV Bible)


This is the text and a scan of the actual, original, first printing of the 1611 King James Version, the 'HE' Bible, for Proverbs Chapter 31. The KJV does not get more original or authentic than this. View Proverbs Chapter 31 as text-only. Click to switch to the standard King James Version of Proverbs Chapter 31

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1 Lemuels lesson of chastitie and temperance. 6 The afflicted are to be comforted and defended. 10 The praise and properties of a good wife.

1 The wordes of King Lemuel, the prophecie that his mother taught him.

2 What, my sonne! and what, the sonne of my wombe! and what, the sonne of my vowes!

3 Giue not thy strength vnto women, nor thy wayes to that which destroyeth kings.

4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drinke wine, nor for Princes, strong drinke:

5 Lest they drinke, and forget the Law, and peruert the iudgement of any of the afflicted.5

6 Giue strong drinke vnto him that is ready to perish, and wine vnto those that be of heauie hearts.6

7 Let him drinke, and forget his pouertie, and remember his misery no more.

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

9 Open thy mouth, iudge righteously, and plead the cause of the poore and needy.9

10 Who can finde a vertuous woman? for her price is farre aboue Rubies.10

11 The heart of her husband doeth safely trust in her, so that he shall haue no need of spoile.

12 She will doe him good, and not euill, all the dayes of her life.

13 She seeketh wooll and flaxe, and worketh willingly with her hands.

14 She is like the merchants ships, she bringeth her food from afarre.

The description of a good woman.

15 Shee riseth also while it is yet night, and giueth meate to her household, and a portion to her maydens.

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

17 She girdeth her loynes with strength, and strengtheneth her armes.

18 She perceiueth that her merchandise is good; her candle goeth not out by night.18

19 She layeth her handes to the spindle, and her handes hold the distaffe.

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poore, yea she reacheth foorth her handes to the needy.20

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

22 She maketh herselfe couerings of tapestrie; her cloathing is silke and purple.

23 Her husband is knowen in the gates, when he sitteth among the Elders of the land.

24 She maketh fine linnen, and selleth it, and deliuereth girdles vnto the merchant.

25 Strength and honour are her cloathing; and she shall reioyce in time to come.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisedome; and in her tongue is the law of kindnesse.

27 She looketh well to the wayes of her housholde, and eateth not the bread of idlenesse.

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

29 Many daughters haue done vertuously, but thou excellest them all.29

30 Fauour is deceitfull, and beautie is vaine: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shalbe praised.

31 Giue her of the fruit of her hands, and let her owne workes praise her in the gates.


View Wesley's Notes for Proverbs Chapter 31

31:1 Lemuel - Of Solomon, by the general consent both of Jewish and Christian writers; this name signifies one from God, or belonging to God, and such an one was Solomon eminently, being given by God to David and Bathsheba, as a pledge of his reconciliation to them after their repentance. Possibly his mother gave him this name to mind him of his great obligations to God, and of the justice of his devoting himself to God's service.

31:2 What - A short speech, arguing her great passion for him; what words shall I take? What counsels shall I give thee? My heart is full, but where shall I begin? Of my womb - My son, not by adoption, but whom I bare in the womb, and therefore it is my duty to give thee admonitions, and thine to receive them. My vows - On whose behalf I have made many prayers and sacrifices, and solemn vows to God; whom I have, as far as in me lay, devoted to the work, and service, and glory of God.

31:3 Strength - The vigour of thy mind and body. Ways - Thy conversation, repeated in other words.

31:4 To drink - To excess.

31:6 To perish - To faint; for such need a cordial.

31:8 The dumb - For such as cannot speak in their own cause, either through ignorance, or because of the dread of their more potent adversaries. Destruction - Who, without such succour from the judges, are like to be utterly ruined.

31:10 A virtuous woman - Here he lays down several qualifications of an excellent wife, which are delivered in alphabetical order, each verse beginning with a several letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

31:11 No need - He shall have no need to use indirect courses to get wealth.

31:13 Flax - That she may find employment for her servants. Worketh - She encourages them to work by her example; which was a common practice among princesses in those first ages. Not that it is the duty of kings and queens to use manual operations, but it is the duty of all persons, the greatest not excepted, to improve all their talents, and particularly their time, which is one of the noblest of them, to the service of that God to whom they must give an account, and to the good of that community to which they are related.

31:14 From afar - By the sale of her home - spun commodities she purchases the choicest goods which come from far countries.

31:15 Giveth - Distributes all necessary provisions.

31:16 Considereth - Whether it be fit for her use. The fruit - With the effects of her diligence. Planteth - She improves the land to the best advantage.

31:17 Girdeth - She uses great diligence and expedition in her employment; for which end, men in those times used to gird up their long and loose garments about their loins. Strengtheneth - Puts forth her utmost strength in her business.

31:18 Perceiveth - She finds great comfort in her labours. Her candle - Which is not to be taken strictly, but only signifies her unwearied care and industry.

31:19 She layeth - By her own example she provokes her servants to labour. And although in these latter and more delicate times, such mean employments are grown out of fashion among great persons, yet they were not so in former ages, neither in other countries, nor in this land; whence all women unmarried unto this day are called in the language of our law, Spinsters.

31:21 Not afraid - Of any injuries of the weather. Are clothed - She hath provided enough, not only for their necessity, but also for their delight and ornament.

31:22 Tapestry - For the furniture of her house. Silk - Which was agreeable to her high quality.

31:23 It known - Observed and respected, not only for his own worth, but for his wife's sake. Sitteth - In counsel or judgment.

31:24 Girdles - Curiously wrought of linen, and gold, or other precious materials.

31:25 Strength - Strength of mind, magnanimity, courage, activity. Her clothing - Her ornament and glory. Rejoice - She lives in constant tranquillity of mind, from a just confidence in God's gracious providence.

31:26 Openeth her mouth - She is neither sullenly silent, nor full of impertinent talk, but speaks discreetly and piously, as occasion offers. In her tongue - Her speeches are guided by wisdom and grace, and not by inordinate passions. And this practice is called a law in her tongue, because it is constant and customary, and proceeds from an inward and powerful principle of true wisdom.

31:27 Looketh well - She diligently observes the management of her domestick business, and the whole carriage of her children and servants.

31:30 Favour - Comeliness, which commonly gives women favour with those who behold them. Deceitful - It gives a false representation of the person, being often a cover to a deformed soul; it does not give a man that satisfaction, which at first he promised to himself from it; and it is soon lost, not only by death, but by many diseases and contingencies.

31:31 Give her - It is but just, that she should enjoy those praises which her labours deserve. Let her works - If men be silent, the lasting effects of her prudence and diligence will trumpet forth her praises. In the gates - In the most publick and solemn assemblies.


Proverbs Chapter 31 Sidenote References (from Original 1611 KJV Bible):

5 Hebr. alter. , Hebr. of all the sonnes of affliction.
6 Psal. 104. 15. , Hebr. bitter of soule.
8 Hebr. the sonnes of destruction.
9 Leuit. 19. 15. deut. 1. 16.
10 Chap. 12. 4.
16 Hebr. taketh.
18 Hebr. she tasteth.
20 Hebr she spreadeth.
21 Or, double garments.
29 Or, haue gotten riches.

* Courtesy of Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania


King James Bible

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