Who is the Proverbs 31 Woman? Part 4

She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:16-31

The virtuous woman is making an investment. The word consider indicates (from the Hebrew) an idea of talking to oneself and arriving at a conclusion. She doesn’t just make a spontaneous decision about this investment. She considers it logically and uses her own profits (earnings), not her family’s livelihood.

“She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.”

v. 17

Verse 17 seems pretty straight-forward. This virtuous woman is a strong woman. The fact that it adds that she strengthens her arms is significant. She has a strong mind, too. She increases her spiritual, mental, and physical strength to the best of her ability.

“She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.”

v. 18

In the next verse, it talks about her merchandise (products) being good. How does her merchandise become good? She trains herself and practices. It says her lamp doesn’t go out by night; she gets the job done, and she does it right (otherwise it wouldn’t be good). This could be taken further to say that she never stops trying and learning. But this would be a poor study if we didn’t also acknowledge that her faith and family still comes first. Remember last week where we discovered how she handles the “nights” of life? She doesn’t just step up to the plate then. She remembers those in her household under normal circumstances, too. She is a determined, disciplined woman.

Also, her “lamp” could be a symbol of her spiritual light. A reminder that she is still a light during dark times. Christ’s light stays on the hill of her life, not under a basket (Matt. 5:14-15)

“She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.”

v. 19-20

Her hand is strong and powerful to do labor. The word for “hand” in v. 20 is like a cupped hand, which is a place of protection. She protects the vulnerable.

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