Proverbs 31:1-9

Good advice to a king

1 These are the words that King Lemuel's mother said to him. It is an important message:

31:1Lemuel was not a king of Israel. But his name means ‘he belongs to God’.

2 Be careful, my dear son. God answered my prayers when I gave birth to you. Please listen carefully!

3 Do not chase after women and lose your strength. Women like that have destroyed kings.

4 Listen, Lemuel. Kings should not drink lots of wine. They should not want strong drink. 5 When kings drink alcohol, they forget to obey the law. They take away justice for helpless people.

6 Give strong drink to people who are dying. Give wine to people who are very upset. 7 Then they can forget how poor they are, or how sad they are.

8 Speak on behalf of people who cannot speak for themselves. Help helpless people to receive justice. 9 Speak clearly to help them. Judge people in a way that is fair and right. Help poor and helpless people to receive justice.