"The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
What are you doing my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?
What are you doing son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings. It is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to the one
who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress, let them drink and
forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Open your mouth
for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth,
judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy."
I am not going to spend a whole lot of time here on these verses but I do think it is important to at least read them and see the context for the later verses that we will be spending quite a bit if time on.
These vereses and the "Excellent Wife" verses were written by a wife and mother. They were written to her son. She is telling her son what to look out or avoid for as a king. She tells him in these first few verses that he is not to give himself to women and to not drink strong drink. She is trying to help him understand how to live to be a good king. After she tells him what to avoid she tells him of things he should be doing. Like speaking for the mute and those that are destitute, judge righteously, defend the poor and the needy. These are all things that he should be doing. After these few things then she starts in verse 10 telling her son what an excellent wife looks like. What he should be looking for in a wife. The "Excellent Wife" verses are very popular. but it is so interesting to think that those verses were written by a wife and mother!! That is so cool to me! Maybe this tidbit will help as we study the next 22 verses maybe this gives you a different perspective as you read them!
Honestly, I am not so sure that I would want to be this lady's daughter-in-law. Those are some pretty high standards she is about to give for what to look for in a wife. That would be some serious pressure!!
*According to John MacArthur's commentary on this verse he says that it was likely that this oracle was written for King Solomon from his mother.