I worked for a couple months at the beginning of this year to translate Proverbs 31:10-31, because I wasn’t entirely satisfied with any of the existing English translations. The following is the result.
Who can find a valorous wife?
Her worth is far beyond jewels.
Her husband trusts her unreservedly,
and lacks no good thing.
She brings him profit, not loss,
all the days of her life.
She seeks out wool and flax,
and delights in the work of her hands.
Like a merchant’s ship,
she brings food from afar.
Rising while yet dark,
she prepares food for her household,
and portions for her maids.
She considers a field and buys it;
from the fruit of her labors she plants a garden.
She wraps her waist with a will,
and flexes her shoulders to the task.
She perceives that her business thrives;
her lamp never flags at night.
She sets her hand to the loom,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She’s open-handed with the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
She has no fear of snow for her household,
for all her charges are doubly cloaked.
She fashions her coverings,
her garments of linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the city gates,
where he dwells among the elders of the land.
She makes clothing and sells it,
and offers aprons to the merchant.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the law of steadfast love is on her tongue.
She watches the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done well,
but you shine amongst them!
Charm is misleading and beauty soon fades,
but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.
Acclaim the fruit of her hands!
May her works praise her in the gates!