Proverbs 31

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Proverbs 31

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

She recognizes that her reason for existence is to be an appropriate (or fitting help) to her husband. She always puts forth her best effort to assist him and would never knowingly do anything which would cause him problems. She is an asset to her husband rather than a liability. She supports and encourages him, and she is always faithful to him throughout her life.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

She is a hard worker, providing for her family's needs. She makes cloth and makes garments out of the cloth.

14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

She goes shopping and brings home the best bargains for her husband and their family.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household [i.e. she provides food for her household], and a portion to her maidens.

She gets up early (before daybreak, i.e. while it is yet dark) and provides food. She does not sleep in until noon. She looks after her household, whether she does the work herself or sees to it that it gets done by someone else. She is a keeper at home.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands [i.e. from her earnings or from her profits] she planteth a vineyard.

She is industrious. She has a healthy attitude toward work. She buys a field and plants a vineyard. Perhaps, she plants and tends a garden. She may work outside the home. It is not wrong for her to do so as long as it is with her husband's approval and as long as she continues to be a keeper at home. Her husband, her children, and her household must all appear on her list of priorities before her outside work.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

She works hard and is not afraid to work physically.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle [i.e. lamp] goeth not out by night.

She recognizes the worth of what she has done. It is not a sinful pride but an honest appraisal of her work. She is not afraid to make things and sell them for others. She stays up in the evening and works.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

distaff - A distaff is a tool used in spinning. It is designed to hold the unspun fibers, keeping them untangled and thus easing the spinning process. It is most commonly used to hold flax, and sometimes wool, but can be used for any type of fiber. Fiber is wrapped around the distaff, and tied in place with a piece of ribbon or string

spindle - A spindle is a straight spike usually made from wood used for spinning, twisting fibers such as wool, flax, hemp, and cotton into yarn.

She finds time to spin wool and flax. She undoubtedly sews and makes things for her family.

20 She stretcheth out [i.e. she extends] her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth [i.e. she reaches out] her hands to the needy.

She is generous toward the poor and needy. She unselfishly shares with those who are less fortunate.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She has adequately prepared in advance for her family for the approach of winter; so she is not running around in a tizzy at the last minute trying to adequately clothe her family.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry [i.e. she makes coverings for herself or she makes tapestry for herself]; her clothing is silk [i.e. fine linen] and purple.

Coverings of tapestry [or decorated spreads] may refer to her family's bed coverings.

She makes her own clothing, perhaps, from cloth she has woven, with which she covers herself. She makes herself look nice.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

Her husband is prominent in the community. He can devote himself to things outside the home because his wife has taken care of things at home. She enhances her husband's standing in the community and does not detract from it. She honors her husband's leadership. She respects him and builds him up by the way she lives.

24 She maketh fine linen [i.e. linen garments], and selleth it [i.e. selleth them]; and delivereth girdles [i.e. sashes or belts] unto the merchant.

She makes fine linen by weaving it. She sells what she makes and supplies girdles [i.e. belts or sashes] to merchants.

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

She faces the future with confidence because of her industry and diligence. She is not a weakling.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [i.e. on her tongue] is the law of kindness.

She provides wise instruction for her family (and others), but she always does it in a kind rather than in a harsh manner.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

She looks out for her household, and does not waste her time sitting around doing nothing.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Her children and her husband will recognize how fortunate they are to have had her as their mother and wife and will appreciate and praise her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously [i.e. well], but thou excellest them all.

Her husband says, There are many fine wives out there, but you're the best.

30 Favour [i.e. grace or charm] is deceitful, and beauty is vain [i.e. fleeting or passing]: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Favor is grace or charm. A woman may have grace or charm, but it does not mean that she is a good wife or a good mother. There are a lot of pretty faces, but a pretty face does not make a good wife or a good mother. A woman who fears the Lord is the best kind. She is one who is saved, who loves the Lord, and who is seeking to live for the Lord.

31 Give her of the fruit [i.e. the product] of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Let her be honored for her diligence and noble character. Let praise be given to her from the leaders in the community as a result of what she has done in her life.

In concluding our study of the Book of Proverbs, Let me quote the final paragraph found in the commentary on Proverbs in the Bible Knowledge Commentary.

The virtues of a noble wife are those that are extolled throughout the Book of Proverbs: hard work, wise investment, good use of time, planning ahead, care for others, respect for one's spouse, ability to share godly values with others, wise counsel, and godly fear (worship, trust, service, obedience). As Proverbs has stated repeatedly, these are qualities that lead to honor, praise, success, personal dignity and worth, and enjoyment of life. In the face of the adulteress' temptations mentioned often in Proverbs, it is fitting that the book concludes by extolling a virtuous wife. Young men and others can learn from this noble woman. By fearing God, they can live wisely and righteously. That is the message of Proverbs.