It is to build one’s life upon the rock of eternal truth, our Savior’s own life-giving voice and perfect word. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar (v. 24). Dignity is the outer reflection of the strength within you. strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her. The next set of verses illustrates the results of such hard work. Pouting, manipulation, and belittling do not accomplish the righteousness of God. Idleness is more than simply not doing what needs to be done, or delaying its completion. First, the finding of this woman recalls other portions of Proverbs that value finding a woman (i.e. woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future. She does not fear for her household when it snows for all of her household are clothed in scarlet [double garments] (v. 21). They want beauty and depend upon sexual attraction as the standard of desirability. She selects wool and flax and delights in working with her hands (v. 13). It is the personal possession of this heavenly wisdom that makes the godly woman precious. Secure at home, he is able to venture confidently into the world. These verses support a reading of the Proverbs 31 woman as an incarnation of Wisdom, summing up the instruction in the book of Proverbs that shows the wise as generous and the foolish as stingy., A There’s plenty that’s frightening in the world. Yet, its primary purpose is to set forth a model for the King’s daughter to aspire to. Instead, the Lord would have remaining time and energy be focused upon home improvement: more time spent with children, cottage industries developed, the poor served, ministries in the church increased, all with an eye to his greater glory through the family and home. superiority and authority. Our celebration of strong women in the body of Christ should be heard loud and clear. When the necessary chores are done, the thoughts of most women turn to the world, what they want to do, how they can be fulfilled. She rises while it is still dark and gives food to her household and instructions to her female servants (v. 15). Her physical beauty is then icing on the cake, but it is never the cake. He simply draws upon what he believes to be common knowledge. These are the facts. A Mother's Faith. 13-18). The Septuagint translators use plouton (“wealth”). The semantic range of any word is determined by its use in various settings. One of the best ways we can do this is by returning to a more literal or primary-sense translation. 93:1 where YHWH clothes himself with strength (Davis. A He will make sure you are found, for he knows where he has hidden the choice gift of a godly woman. Her words were undoubtedly intended to guide her son in his selection of a wife. It is not worldly finery that a godly woman seeks but adequate clothing that says, “We are a family of the King of kings.” Her husband is thus able to take his place among the elders of the land (v. 23). Many pastors hold up the Proverbs 31 woman as the model for all women, yet they present a distorted and limited view of women, hindered as they are by imprecise English translations. Women played a vital role in the Bible. The popular title for this poem is “The Virtuous Wife,” but the Hebrew chayil (lyIx;) is most often used in contexts of strength, wealth, and ability. While this woman is virtuous, the main idea seems to be that of strength and efficiency. The latter phrase does not mean she is a night owl, for “he gives his beloved sleep,” and it is “vain to rise up early, to sit up late” (Ps. Rather than suggesting that she rises before dawn (v. 15) and toils late into the night (v. 18), so that she is never seen to rest, the reference to her lamp (v. 18) is a symbol of her “enduring prosperity.”25 This prosperity is further illustrated by references to scarlet and purple—dyes that required extensive trade and whose rarity led to their association with the wealthy and the royal.26 The Vulgate reading of scarlet as “double garments” seems to fit the context of cold weather better than scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is of fine linen and purple (v. 22). 25:9). Ladies, understand that being a woman is a journey and you will make mistakes but God will make you strong and He will keep you. Young men must particularly seek the Lord’s guidance and wisdom, for it requires “an old head on young shoulders” to look deeper than the first flush of youthful beauty to the piety and fear of the Lord that will endure when beauty fades. and you will make mistakes but God will make you strong and He will keep you. We shall reflect our Savior’s lovely, lively, and working image (John 5:17). role as a woman, knows her identity in God and does not fight with her man for The range of translations for ’esheth-khayil includes “wife of noble character” (NIV), “virtuous woman” (KJV), “excellent wife” (NAS), “capable wife” (NRS, JPS), “truly capable woman” (NJB), “worthy wife” (NAB), “woman of worth” (DB1), “valiant woman” (DRA2), and “virtuous and capable wife” (NLT). This woman is praised not only for her work, but also for her attitude (her hands work “with delight” or “willingly,” v. 13), the quality of her food (likened to, or actually, foreign delicacies, v. 14), her diligence (rising before dawn, v. 15), and the wise oversight of her household (v. 27).21. Here is the foundation for true domestic order, peace, and beauty: when husband and wife are walking with the Lord together. 14–15), oversight of female servants (v. 15), purchasing property with monies from her own income and overseeing its use to increase the financial production of the household (v. 16), and general supervision of household affairs. It is the fear of the Lord. woman works out every day to keep her body in shape. Still, the more we walk with the Lord and use the gifts he places at our disposal, the more heaven will influence our lives and homes. Christian women and men need to know that all followers of Jesus Christ are called to use their strengths in the service of others, whether physical, financial, moral, mental, or spiritual. Finding such a woman is difficult. Images of clothing (girding) illustrate the strength (‘oz) this woman employs for the service of others (v. 17). Physical charms pass away, and to the degree that we base our happiness upon them, we will lose happiness and grow discontent as beauty fades. Davis, James L. Crenshaw, “A Mother’s Instruction to Her Son,”. You must endeavor to live in such a way that there is something meaningful in which she may assist you. They fear that financial success from their careers and their other strengths will be viewed as threats rather than as assets to bring into marriage or into the church. This comes from hope in God. But this verse also bears striking resemblance to another in reference to personified Wisdom, Proverbs 8:35: “For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord” (NRS).11 The difficulty of finding this woman also recalls the difficulty of finding Wisdom, especially as presented by Job 28.12 Rather, the rarity of this woman—and of Wisdom herself—only serves to indicate the value of the search. Together, they determine what should be spent, how present and future needs may best be secured. This sermon explores five practical lessons we can all (women and men) learn from her. encouraged, God gave us everything we need to be a woman and we can execute Her clothing is so valuable that she is able to sell it (v. 24), thus increasing the wealth of the home and enabling its greater usefulness in the world. Many a hard-working and thrifty wife is ground down by an unfeeling husband, whose only words are discontent, criticism, and anger. You must not eat the bread of idleness, O man, if you would have such a home, for your wife is not your slave, but your helpmeet. The language of “girding the loins” (v. 17) provides justification for relating these images of prosperity to the broader idea of strength. Men do not often find her because they are not looking for her. I believe that “woman of strength” is a better translation than “strong woman” on account of the fact that it is used more seldom in English. This is the diligence God requires of the strong, valiant, and virtuous woman. He alone can do this. Even more, and even in the absence of a thankful, adoring family, for even an Abigail suffered under the brutal tyranny of a Nabal, God will praise you. This hope in God yields fearlessness. He is not afraid of her trying to usurp his authority or headship, for his heart is joined to hers. Contributed by Dennis Lee on May 9, 2016. based on 6 ratings. She opens her hands to the poor and extends her hands to the needy (v. 20). The isolated descriptions of godly women found throughout the book are now completed in such a moving conclusion that we must bow in awe before the majestic penmanship of the Holy Spirit. Verse 19 may function as something of a bridge between the sources of her revenue and the broader usefulness that strong family economy enables. When she does, she is happy. Seeking him, humbled before him, he will raise you up. He knows where every drop of his grace has been poured. A Woman of strength puts God first, understands her She identified the Source of true strength: the depth of Hannah’s despair brought her close to God. Standing as the capstone of Proverbs, this woman stands as a stirring contrast to the strange woman, whose only value lies in her looks, sex appeal, and moral looseness. She has taken God’s word into her inmost being. The association with precious stones also recalls Woman Wisdom, whose worth is similarly described in Proverbs (3:15, 8:11)19 and in Job (ch. This she does not only in times of war, but also “all the days of her life.” She brings plunder and other things that are good, so her husband cannot but place his trust in her. While we are working toward the translation of khayil, there are other observations that can be made from this introductory verse. Translations are mine unless otherwise noted. In this article, I will argue that translators of Proverbs 31 should retain the primary sense of khayil as “strength” for several reasons: first, to convey the primary meaning of the Hebrew text; second, to render more carefully the meaning of khayil in the context of Proverbs 31; and, last, to overcome the disparate portraits of men and women in the Hebrew Bible. They are never a foundation for true usefulness and service to the King. “Hands” is the connecting link. 28). She senses that her trading is profitable. The problem with Sax’s definitions of true manhood and true womanhood is that they do not match the picture we find in the Bible. A strong This is a capstone to her industry. Without adequate sleep, no one can be strong. To say that he safely trusts her means that he has no worries, no anxieties about pursuing his calling outside the home, no fear that his return home at the end of the day will be marked by trouble and godlessness.