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An excellent wife

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  • An excellent wife

    The book of Proverbs ends with a tribute to an excellent wife. Proverbs 31:10-31

    I have heard several sermons on this subject and I usually didn't pay much attention to them because I felt they didn't apply to me. But recently I realized this really applies to every Christian, male or female, married or single. In the Bible marriage is often used as a symbol of the relationship between God and his worshipers. In the Old Testament Israel was called the wife of God; in the new the Church is called the bride of Christ. Any instructions given to married women are also instructions to the Church. One verse in particular tells why the way we live is important.

    Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
    Proverbs 31:23


    Just as the way a wife lives can affect the way people feel about her husband, many people form their opinion of Christ on the way his bride conducts herself. We need to make sure that our lifestyle is one that reflects well on Christ and will make people want to know him for themselves.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog

  • #2
    With a very small voice:
    I don't see how that verse refers to wife's doings.
    I suppose he is like that whether his wife acts nicely or not.
    Because men ought not to be "made" by women.

    I still do get the point you stated.
    Of course wifes have to act properly.

    Still with the same small voice:
    For me, I have thaught that verses 11 and 12
    in the beginning of the declaration are important
    regarding the matter you pointed to.
    11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, So that he shall have no need of spoil.
    12 She will do him good and not evil
    All the days of her life.

    God bless
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by theophilus View Post
      The book of Proverbs ends with a tribute to an excellent wife. Prov 31.10-31

      I have heard several sermons on this subject and I usually didn't pay much attention to them because I felt they didn't apply to me. But recently I realized this really applies to every Christian, male or female, married or single. In the Bible marriage is often used as a symbol of the relationship between God and his worshipers. In the Old Testament Israel was called the wife of God; in the new the Church is called the bride of Christ. Any instructions given to married women are also instructions to the Church. One verse in particular tells why the way we live is important.

      Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
      Proverbs 31:23


      Just as the way a wife lives can affect the way people feel about her husband, many people form their opinion of Christ on the way his bride conducts herself. We need to make sure that our lifestyle is one that reflects well on Christ and will make people want to know him for themselves.
      G'day Theo,

      Many of volumes have been written on this subject. Our church just some months ago touched upon Song of Songs. I can't remember the author's names, maybe it was Origen that wrote commentary on Song of Songs in an unbelievable 70+ volume edition.

      Proverbs 31:10-31 is held dear to many single men today. I suppose, some young women hold Jesus as not only an example all men should follow, but unfortunately be measured by. Prov 31:10-31 explicitly addresses young men. I think it is no coincidence that Ruth who herself is called a "noble woman" follows in the Hebrew Canon, and then Song of Songs, a book in which the woman is the main speaker that initiates the relationship. I think many a men have found, like women which hold too high a bar, that the qualities and abilities makes one wonder whether the proper answer to the opening question, "A noble woman, who can find?" is "No one, because she doesn't exists." I believe her standard is ideal, and that she should not be used as a standard by which to measure and critique women by. The noble woman in Proverbs 31:10-31 does not embody one woman, but rather the desired attributes of many, which could very well be that bride of Christ you're expressing, Theo.

      Of course, I think you'll find that the most difficult part of such literature is determining how to read it. Literal, allegory, or through typology? I think if we were to follow your idea, Theo, then we would rule out literal. A literal reading poses problems, and sometimes other problems such as an immoral display of affection in Song of Songs. Personally, the Christocentric hermeneutic you're speaking of compels me toward the typological interpretation of both Proverbs 31:10-31 and Song of Songs.

      God bless,
      William
      Comment>

      • #4
        Nearly 10 chapters before there is very similar saying
        referring to men.:)
        ו רָב-אָדָם--יִקְרָא, אִישׁ חַסְדּוֹ; וְאִישׁ אֱמוּנִים, מִי יִמְצָא.
        Many men call themselves men of mercy
        but a faith full man who can find? :))))

        My small voice again here saying that

        But, these words are said to be actual words of disciplining,
        correcting of a mother to a king named Lemuel.

        The whole chapter, including these last verses
        were the nobel mother of a king tells him what to look for.

        Sure it existed and do exist and will exist women valued over
        the value of pearls.

        (Are the gates of new Jerusalem made of pearls?)

        Many of the older generation were women of that valour.
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by slippy
          My small voice again here saying that

          But, these words are said to be actual words of disciplining,
          correcting of a mother to a king named Lemuel.

          The whole chapter, including these last verses
          were the nobel mother of a king tells him what to look for.

          Sure it existed and do exist and will exist women valued over
          the value of pearls.

          (Are the gates of new Jerusalem made of pearls?)

          Many of the older generation were women of that valour.

          The price or value of wisdom is clearly metaphorical elsewhere in the book, which presents a problem in literal interpretation, that is, unless someone is suggesting that the Noble Woman should be priced?

          I believe at the very "least", you're right slippy. What I mean by this is not only this applied to an individual but to the church. We could also say she's Woman Wisdom and she's being contrasted with the strange and foreign woman Proverbs chapter 5-7. But on Theo's suggestion, if these verses embody the church as the bride of Christ:
          • She makes her husband happy, as well as children.
          • She is the epitome of the hard laborer, abstaining from laziness.
          • She is not defined by her actions alone, but also by her attitude.
          • She is confident in the light of threats to security and to the future.
          • She stays out of trouble through preparations.
          • She takes care of the home while her husband decides on more important matters.
          • She is concerned about the poor and afflicted.
          • She works for the betterment not only of her own household, but also those outside it.

          Yes, these things can be said of an ideal individual woman, but more believably of the church. Of interest is Proverbs 31:11. Here's the lexicon.

          What interests me is the term shalal: a prey, spoil, plunder, booty, which refers to the spoils of warfare. She goes out and fights on behalf of her family. Somewhat unbelievable, I think, at least literally. So we may draw imagery to that of a battle of life, or maybe spiritual warfare, it could very well include not only an ideal individual woman this way, but the embodied church.

          God bless,
          William

          P.S. Slippy, please consider taking more time in compiling posts, instead of posting a sentence or two as a response. I have merged a couple of your one or two line responses into a single post.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Interesting. I have always read the eleventh verse
            so that her husbands heart trusts in her,
            and he will not have lack of spoil.

            In Hebrew it is like this.

            Is it not so that the husband is the warrior.

            This verse is entirely about her husband and his war.
            Although the woman is "a warrior" as well,
            eshet chail. Chail being 'a warrior'.
            Comment>
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