Lemuel’s mother

When Proverbs 31 is mentioned, a good number of people think of the woman described in there; the perfect woman any man would like to say he desires, whether he be deserving of her or not.

There are a few verses in Proverbs 31 that catch my eyes, but they have nothing to do with the woman, rather, they have to do with a man; a certain King Lemuel talked about in the first few verses.

Proverbs 31: 3 – 7

  1. Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
  2. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
  3. Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
  4. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
  5. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.


I like to think “giving strength unto women” in verse 3 refers to either womanizing or if I must add more color:

“Weakness. Brought about by being foolishly given to loving and attending to more women than necessary.”

It is not completely clear to me why Lemuel’s mother was bent on dissuading her son from having anything to do with just a little wine.

I mean, what should kings enjoy if not the finest of wines of the Land? How dare she say what she said in verse 4?

Although, in the two verses that immediately follow, she mentions two easy negatives that could arise as a result of drinking;

  1. The King/Prince could forget the Law (which would render them ineffective in the discharge of their duties).
  2. It could result in them perverting judgement.

Lemuel’s mother did not stop there, she went ahead to imply that strong drinks are meant for those ready to perish, and wine to those of heavy hearts (depressed?).


Why on earth did she not talk about the “obvious” benefits of drinking. I mean, there’s the relaxation of the soul it provides, it is used for clearing the head after a long day, it can be useful for killing oneself with enjoyment, for fraternizing with friends, celebrating victory and so on?

I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that she knew deep down that all those things pale in comparison to being able to execute judgement clearly and always being in control.

I suspect she knew for sure that while a little wine is “good for the soul“, it is good because it helps with “frequent illnesses” (refer to 1 Timothy 5:3).

Now, I must stress that I do not imagine nor arrogate to myself the eloquence of speech, nor the capability of swaying anyone from their convictions about anything whatsoever. I only find it of utmost importance to me to share my thoughts and findings as I journey through life, as I walk along with God.

I am a King, and my mother’s voice echoes the sentiments of Lemuel’s mother.

Have you a fruitful week ahead. 🙂

1 Comment

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One response to “Lemuel’s mother

  1. WOW!!!

    I have never read this famous book in this perspective. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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