31:4 “It is not for kings [sobriety is essential for a ruler to responsibly carry out his tasks and not put his people in jeopardy], O Lemuel [possibly the king of Massa, which may have been a north African tribe]—not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer,
31:5 lest they drink and forget [drinking alcohol dulls one’s thinking] what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights [cf. Isa. 5:22-23].
31:6 [in ancient times alcohol was used as an anesthetic; cf. 1 Tim. 5:23; today we have medicines and sedatives that are safer and more effective than alcohol] Give beer to those who are perishing [alcohol used to alleviate pain rather than for sensory enjoyment], wine to those who are in anguish;
31:7 let them drink and forget [temporarily] their poverty and remember their misery no more [drinking provides only a temporary escape from reality].
31:10 A wife of noble character [capable; basic meaning is strength] who can find [not meant to express doubt about finding a wife of noble character]? She is worth far more than rubies [husband should see wife as more valuable than a rare gem].