Proverbs 31 Woman
Please understand that I am not an erudite scholar, and I don't propose that my comment is the definitive study of scripture. I simply submit my own understanding for your (the reader's) perusal. And I promise not to use such convoluted and tortured vocabulary as you are now reading. Ready?
Proverbs 31, The Text
Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is
far above rubies. She seeketh wool, and flax,and worketh willingly with her hands. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She stretcheth her hand to the poor;yea,she reacheth forth her
hands to the needy. Her husband is known in the gates,when he sitteth among the
elders of the land. She openeth her mouth with wisdom;and in her tongue is the law of
kindness. Many daughters have done virtuously,but thou excellest them all.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her,so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She is like the merchants ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household. and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
She maketh fine linen and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her
Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
She seeketh wool, and flax,and worketh willingly with her hands.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She stretcheth her hand to the poor;yea,she reacheth forth her
hands to the needy.
Her husband is known in the gates,when he sitteth among the
elders of the land.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom;and in her tongue is the law of
Many daughters have done virtuously,but thou excellest them all.
ver. 10-12. The first statement of this portion tells me that a woman can be precious; a person of rare value, intrinsic value. And the first attribute of such a person is trustworthiness: she is a safe person. There are many self-help books which define what a "safe" person is, but the next verse sums it up perfectly well. I think of the doctor's oath when I look at this, "First, do no harm". Here is the golden rule of marriage: "She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."
ver.13. A woman who learns practical skills, she cultivates a teachable attitude and a desire to accomplish the plain work of life. This is a great gift-joy in the plain work of life. Two women I admire had this, the painter Grandma Moses, and the writer Laura Ingalls Wilder. When I read about their lives, their joy in making fine butter, running a household, or baking good bread was something I envied. That someone could feel that way was almost an epiphany.
ver. 14 Food. A basic need in life. The virtuous woman is making it her business to provide the best she can. Looking for the sources of good quality food to lay a foundation for good health and physical energy.
ver.15. This third part, of the verses which describe the foundation of a successful household, clinches an obvious fact that no allowance is made for laziness. To wake up early and prepare food is a self-discipline: making sure everyone in the house is ready to make the best of their day. And, aha I thought so, this woman has help. There is more than one source of such help: whether the paid variety, relatives, friends, or children. As women, we need to find that help if we can. No one is super woman, she doesn't exist and we're not talking about her here. If you are without any reliable source, then stop beating yourself over the head; just do what you can, and let the rest go. But if you desire the help you need, you must battle laziness. [My nemesis, my old enemy.....laziness. In other verses of Proverbs it goes by the name " sluggard". Ick, that's me, lost in the goo of my own making.] People, including children, don't much want to help someone that isn't working as well. Maybe, it feels like a waste to them, but win them over by trying your best, and supplying their need, too.
ver.16. If there are any feminists still reading at this point, or any Christian women laboring under a false interpretation of submission, pay attention and look closely here. A woman of virtue has the available money, control, and personal discretion to procure a piece of real estate and develop it. This is no small undertaking, and no one is questioning her right or ability to accomplish it.
More on the Proverbs Woman
from verses 17 through the end