Proverbs 31
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1  The words of king Lemuel; the burden wherewith his mother corrected him.

א  דִּבְרֵי לְמוּאֵל מֶלֶךְ מַשָּׂא אֲשֶׁר יִסְּרַתּוּ אִמּוֹ.

2  What, my son? and what, O son of my womb? and what, O son of my vows?

ב  מַה בְּרִי וּמַה בַּר בִּטְנִי וּמֶה בַּר נְדָרָי.

3  Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

ג  אַל תִּתֵּן לַנָּשִׁים חֵילֶךָ וּדְרָכֶיךָ לַמְחוֹת מְלָכִין.

4  It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine: nor for princes to say: ‘Where is strong drink?’

ד  אַל לַמְלָכִים לְמוֹאֵל אַל לַמְלָכִים שְׁתוֹ יָיִן וּלְרוֹזְנִים או (אֵי) שֵׁכָר.

5  Lest they drink, and forget that which is decreed, and pervert the justice due to any that is afflicted.

ה  פֶּן יִשְׁתֶּה וְיִשְׁכַּח מְחֻקָּק וִישַׁנֶּה דִּין כָּל בְּנֵי עֹנִי.

6  Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto the bitter in soul;

ו  תְּנוּ שֵׁכָר לְאוֹבֵד וְיַיִן לְמָרֵי נָפֶשׁ.

7  Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

ז  יִשְׁתֶּה וְיִשְׁכַּח רִישׁוֹ וַעֲמָלוֹ לֹא יִזְכָּר עוֹד.

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

ח  פְּתַח פִּיךָ לְאִלֵּם אֶל דִּין כָּל בְּנֵי חֲלוֹף.

9  Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

ט  פְּתַח פִּיךָ שְׁפָט צֶדֶק וְדִין עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן.

10  A woman of valour who can find? for her price is far above rubies.

AY-shet KHA-yil mee yim-TZA v’-ra-KHOK mi-p’-nee-NEEM mikh-RAH

י  אֵשֶׁת חַיִל מִי יִמְצָא וְרָחֹק מִפְּנִינִים מִכְרָהּ.

31:10   A woman of valour

This chapter contains an extended poem in praise of the ‘eishet chayil,’ the “Woman of Valor” (verses 10-31). She provides for her family in all areas, both materially and spiritually, and her endeavors and accomplishments are praised by the members of her household and beyond. This poem is sung by Jews around the world on Friday night, as they begin the first Sabbath meal. It is often understood as a praise for the Jewish woman who works hard to care for her family and others, and to prepare for the Sabbath each week. In the Bible, Ruth the Moabite, great-grandmother of King David, is described as an ‘eishet chayil’ (Ruth 3:11). On a more mystical realm, it has been said in the name of the 16th century Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria that “the Land of Israel is the earthly manifestation of the Woman of Valor.” When the Children of Israel follow God faithfully in this special land, they are provided for both materially and spiritually. And, the uniqueness and beauty of the Land of Israel are recognized and praised by all, both Jews and non-Jews alike.

Comment

11  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, and he hath no lack of gain.

יא  בָּטַח בָּהּ לֵב בַּעְלָהּ וְשָׁלָל לֹא יֶחְסָר.

12  She doeth him good and not evil all the days of her life.

יב  גְּמָלַתְהוּ טוֹב וְלֹא רָע כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיהָ.

13  She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

יג  דָּרְשָׁה צֶמֶר וּפִשְׁתִּים וַתַּעַשׂ בְּחֵפֶץ כַּפֶּיהָ.

14  She is like the merchant-ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

יד  הָיְתָה כָּאֳנִיּוֹת סוֹחֵר מִמֶּרְחָק תָּבִיא לַחְמָהּ.

15  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth food to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

טו  וַתָּקָם בְּעוֹד לַיְלָה וַתִּתֵּן טֶרֶף לְבֵיתָהּ וְחֹק לְנַעֲרֹתֶיהָ.

16  She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

טז  זָמְמָה שָׂדֶה וַתִּקָּחֵהוּ מִפְּרִי כַפֶּיהָ נטע (נָטְעָה) כָּרֶם.

17  She girdeth her loins with strength, and maketh strong her arms.

יז  חָגְרָה בְעוֹז מָתְנֶיהָ וַתְּאַמֵּץ זְרוֹעֹתֶיהָ.

18  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good; her lamp goeth not out by night.

יח  טָעֲמָה כִּי טוֹב סַחְרָהּ לֹא יִכְבֶּה בליל (בַלַּיְלָה) נֵרָהּ.

19  She layeth her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.

יט  יָדֶיהָ שִׁלְּחָה בַכִּישׁוֹר וְכַפֶּיהָ תָּמְכוּ פָלֶךְ.

20  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

כ  כַּפָּהּ פָּרְשָׂה לֶעָנִי וְיָדֶיהָ שִׁלְּחָה לָאֶבְיוֹן.

21  She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

כא  לֹא תִירָא לְבֵיתָהּ מִשָּׁלֶג כִּי כָל בֵּיתָהּ לָבֻשׁ שָׁנִים.

22  She maketh for herself coverlets; her clothing is fine linen and purple.

כב  מַרְבַדִּים עָשְׂתָה לָּהּ שֵׁשׁ וְאַרְגָּמָן לְבוּשָׁהּ.

23  Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

כג  נוֹדָע בַּשְּׁעָרִים בַּעְלָהּ בְּשִׁבְתּוֹ עִם זִקְנֵי אָרֶץ.

24  She maketh linen garments and selleth them; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

כד  סָדִין עָשְׂתָה וַתִּמְכֹּר וַחֲגוֹר נָתְנָה לַכְּנַעֲנִי.

25  Strength and dignity are her clothing; and she laugheth at the time to come.

כה  עֹז וְהָדָר לְבוּשָׁהּ וַתִּשְׂחַק לְיוֹם אַחֲרוֹן.

26  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

כו  פִּיהָ פָּתְחָה בְחָכְמָה וְתוֹרַת חֶסֶד עַל לְשׁוֹנָהּ.

27  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

כז  צוֹפִיָּה הילכות (הֲלִיכוֹת) בֵּיתָהּ וְלֶחֶם עַצְלוּת לֹא תֹאכֵל.

28  Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her:

כח  קָמוּ בָנֶיהָ וַיְאַשְּׁרוּהָ בַּעְלָהּ וַיְהַלְלָהּ.

29  ‘Many daughters have done valiantly, but thou excellest them all.’

כט  רַבּוֹת בָּנוֹת עָשׂוּ חָיִל וְאַתְּ עָלִית עַל כֻּלָּנָה.

30  Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth Hashem, she shall be praised.

ל  שֶׁקֶר הַחֵן וְהֶבֶל הַיֹּפִי אִשָּׁה יִרְאַת יְהוָה הִיא תִתְהַלָּל.

31  Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates.

לא  תְּנוּ לָהּ מִפְּרִי יָדֶיהָ וִיהַלְלוּהָ בַשְּׁעָרִים מַעֲשֶׂיהָ.

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Proverbs 30

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Proverbs 31