Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
Meanwhile, the chief official of King Lemuel’s dealings had been busy seeking out the fairest maidens and most noble daughters within all the land; set on finding a wife for the King, many beautiful and wealthy women were brought to court for the King’s inspection.
The women were rude- shoving their ladies off on hurried errands within remote locations within the city, only to show little gratitude when the task was complete. All of them were lovely, but in arrogant and highly superficial ways: King Lemuel assumed these women spent as much time getting ready each day as he when preparing for battle; and while he respected their efforts (only in the slightest way) he found them all ill-suited as a partner in his most important business matters and strict royal affairs.
“Mother, what can be done?” The King inquired, leaning close to her before continuing, “My peoples need a queen! There are many issues that must be handled by a woman, and yet I see no one woman capable of upholding such pertinent issues. Maybe I should do as past Kings have done and take up a quorum?”
The mother of King Lemuel, slightly aghast at such a notion of seven wives, rolled her eyes, and continued- as a GOD fearing woman- with the prophetic wisdom she had traveled so far and stayed so long at court for the intention of sharing wisdom and aiding her son in finding his perfect wife: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”
Frustrated, the King adjourned the noblemen and their brood of haughty daughters from his court; some of them had begun bickering among themselves, and when dismissed without their pride and vanity satisfied by royal marriage, at last broke into attacks upon one another: the women’s gowns were ripped and hair was pulled amidst shrieks; their fathers threatened war upon each other’s land in deep, booming shouts: the attendants worked vigorously to remove them all from the King’s throne room.
Still, with much business left upon the daily agenda, King Lemuel called for his three stealthy servants, still set at the task daily of following the woman of the city; but one returned within the hour of his call.
“Where are your partners?” the King asked, eyeing the manservant- who was very much winded and his clothes were torn asunder.
“My lord,” he begun with great effort, panting slightly and attempting to straighten his attire. “My lord, the woman,” he gasped heavily, “the woman of the city… she is in great peril. I left my fellow servant at her aid! It seems those who practice the occult upon the high mountain know not of your fondness of her, and have chosen her as their next blood sacrifice.”
“Where is she?“ King Lemuel jumped from his throne, bidding his mother to stay put; a troop of guards could barely assemble themselves as quickly as King Lemuel, who- in a mad dash- grabbed his sword and mounted his stead.
The team on horseback, led by their king, raced through the city and towards the outskirts; the high mountain lay just beyond the river, which was crossed in a moment, the horses splashing and moving with their riders still atop them.
“Hurry, men! We must reach the top now!” The horses were no match for the steep climb and were left tied within a mountainside olive grove.
As King Lemuel climbed farther and faster than any one of his guardsmen, he could hear the woman of the city mocking the occult practices, “My blood will not be spilled today! Your gods are dead! Your idols are made by your own hands! They cannot help you! They will not protect you! They cannot hear you! Your worship but the demonic forces, the legions of angels fallen from the Heavens my GOD made. You will be destroyed before any harm will come of me!”
Rejoicing as such fierce faith, and the fortune of their timing, King Lemuel and his men reached the pinnacle height of the mountain.
“My Lord!” A man dressed in a hooded gown singled to his fellows to bow low to the King. “Have you come to gain your share of power? We have found the perfect sacrifice: a woman unspoiled by man, and a believer in a phony god.”
King Lemuel- of regal poise and shrewd craftiness- chuckled at the words of the hooded man. “Hahaha, let us see which of you- this woman who believes on the Most High God, or you all, who believe in many gods, can first achieve that which is believed should happen today?”
The members of the occult practice began laughing along with the King; the man dressed in the hood bowed again, “As you wish, my Lord,” and pulled a slender knife from within the depths of his robe.
In silence and profound understanding, the woman of the city remained quiet and still atop the alter of which she had been tied upon many hours earlier, and watched the events unfurl: as the chief member of the occult moved to lower the dagger into her heart, King Lemuel made one swoop of his sword, cleanly removing the head of the occult leader. In a flash of brilliant metals and swift movements, all of the occult members were dead, and the mountaintop was stilling with pools of their blood.
“Are you all right?” King Lemuel asked of the woman as he loosened her ropes and helped her sit upright up on the alter.
“I knew my GOD would not allow me to die today; not by the hands of the heathens I have dedicated my life to overcoming in His good name. Thank you my Lord. Our GOD smiles upon us today.”
“He does indeed,” King Lemuel announced, taking the woman’s hand and bringing it to his lips. “And now I ask of you but one favor: in return for bringing my men up here today, and for rescuing your life.”
The woman of the city smiled keenly, “Anything my Lord! I am forever your servant! Ask of me and it shall be done!”
King Lemuel, without a moment’s pause, continued, “Be my wife, and queen of all my lands.”
Within a fortnight. it was upon that very mountaintop that King Lemuel and the woman of the city were sealed in holy matrimony.