Proverbs Challenge – Proverbs 31

The Words of King Lemuel’s Mother

31 The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:

What, my son?
And what, son of my womb?
And what, son of my vows?
Do not give your strength to women,
Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.

It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Nor for princes intoxicating drink;
Lest they drink and forget the law,
And pervert the justice of all a]”>[a]the afflicted.
Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
Let him drink and forget his poverty,
And remember his misery no more.

Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are b]”>[b]appointed to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy.

The Virtuous Wife

10 Whoc]”>[c] can find a d]”>[d]virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From e]”>[e]her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 31:5 Lit. sons of affliction
  2. Proverbs 31:8 Lit. sons of passing away
  3. Proverbs 31:10 Vv. 10–31 are an alphabetic acrostic in Hebrew; cf. Ps. 119
  4. Proverbs 31:10 Lit. a wife of valor, in the sense of all forms of excellence
  5. Proverbs 31:16 Lit. the fruit of her hands

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This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. ADEOSUN OLUGBEMI OLAGOKE

    Proverbs 31
    This is pure advice from a Mother to the Son to keep him safe and sound in life, definitely no other person than Solomon’s mum.
    She is definitely informed, experienced and the centrality of the message is in vs 30.
    This can be group into two categories:
    1. Vs 2 – 9 which is based on the need to avoid excessiveness in the use of women, strong drinks and wine,and need to be just at all time and defend others judgement especially the poor and needy we must be voice to them.
    2.) Vs 10 -28 goes on to give the characteristics a good wife should possess to keep the home stand for long and benefit of it all
    3.)vs 29-31
    Are appraisal for the woman
    Vs 30 is hiding something vital and critical to choosing life partner that we should not look at beauty,favour or good look of a woman or man or any other material thing such are one is in possession of,but we should earnestly look for and consider the fear of God in that person.

  2. Imion immaculate osereme

    This chapter is divided into two segment:
    The wise king and
    The virtuous woman.
    (In the verses of 2-9), the godly king is addressed and told that his reign should be characterized by:
    Sanctity
    soberness
    Sympathy
    This section is filled with succinct and solemn warnings against vices to which kings are particularly susceptible; immorality, overindulgence, unrighteous rule and indifference to those in need. Verses 10-31 contains a poem which offers a beautiful description of the excellent wife as defined by a wife and mother (verse 1). Spiritual and practical wisdom plus moral virtues mark the character of this woman in contrast to the immoral women (of verse 3).
    The virtuous or an excellent woman is a woman of high morals who is upright in all her ways.
    This is just saying that her worth cannot be measured in earthly things, such as rare stones (rubies). She does exist, but is very hard to find.

  3. Imion Angela Ofure

    Proverbs 31 explains the characteristics of a good wife.
    1. She must be faithful in marriage and has good relationship with Jesus Christ
    2. She is a loving mother and her children call her blessed.
    3. She takes care of herself in all ramifications.
    4. She is a wise steward of the gifts God has given her. She takes care of finances i.e she is not wasteful.
    5. She is industrious and works willingly.
    6. She manages the home well.
    7. She spends her time wisely.
    8. She is creative and embraces beauty and godliness.

  4. Merayebu

    Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman means working hard to become a woman who honors God. … Remember that you are worthy of God’s grace. Be truthful and faithful. Love others, be good to others and pray for others.

  5. Odogun Oluwaseun Morrison

    In chapter 31 Verses 1 to 9, the talked about King Lemuel who shares of the wisdom that his mother imparted to him concerning what makes a king rule with understanding and justice. His mother advised him to heed the commands of Scripture to stay away from all forms of sexual immorality (Ephesians 5:3) including the multiplying of wives, which was common practice among the kings of old. This would likely turn a man’s heart away as it did Solomon’s as the king became focused on sinful pleasure rather than upon the wisdom of God. Deuteronomy 17:17 says of the Israel’s king, “He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.” A king who wants to rule wisely needs also to avoid drunkenness and the lure of escaping reality with strong drink. Proverbs 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.” Strong drink would impair his judgment, and it could lead to him to make terrible decisions without realizing what he was doing. He might forget the law of God and the law of the land and act in a way that defrauds people of their rights. It is the king’s responsibility to look out for the needs of the downtrodden and lowly, and this would not happen if a king’s mind is overtaken by a corrupt sex drive or by too much alcohol. King Lemuel’s mother suggested leaving the alcohol to those facing imminent death to help cope with pain and suffering. Many who face poverty drink to forget the pain of their lives, and, while this is wrong and unwise (Ephesians 5:18), it is less dangerous for society at large than if the leader of a country is a drunkard. The weak, disabled, unfortunate, poor, and afflicted need the king to stand up and defend their rights and dignity. The king can’t shirk his responsibility to lead and to dispense justice, and those who have a mind which is sober in spirit (1 Peter 1:13) and led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14) can do just that.

    Also in the remaining chapter which was mostly about women or let me say wives, talks about how a godly wife finds satisfaction in seeing the fruit of the works of her hands. Her productivity as a mother and wife is a good thing, and it is an honor to her and a blessing to her family. When a child comes in with a bad dream or something last minute needs her attention, she is not afraid to burn the midnight oil if she must. A woman’s lack of sleep is not indicative of her level of spirituality, however, for all people need adequate rest. The principle is that she recognizes that, even at night, she is still on call if need be. This doesn’t exempt the husband from pitching in around the house and helping out with the children so that mom can get some needed sleep. It is a team effort, and the instructions here are just focusing on the wife’s responsibilities, not implying that the husband has no responsibilities at home.

  6. Akinsehinwa Queen

    I love the fact that the book of proverb ended with an advice, not just that but a book that recognizes a virtuous woman.
    The first segment is teachIng us on the issue of drinking. This chapter made us understand that a person that drinks is liable to perish so we should abstain it. The second segment is teaching and telling us how and what a virtuous woman should be. A woman that builds her home,a wise woman that her husband will be proud of.
    As the bible records in this boo of proverb that when a house is peaceful then the woman of the house is to be praised. So is left for u to choose the kind of woman be it virtuous or folly.
    May God help us to be a prayerful, peaceful, righteous and a wise woman that build her home.
    And to the men, may God give us grace to choose rightly….Amen

  7. Odedairo Oladele Omotayo

    Proverb Chapter31 can be summarised into verses as follows:

    1-9. Speech of Lemuel’s mother
    1. Superscription
    2-9. Exhortation
    10-31. Acrostic: the woman of valour.

    General summary is as follows :
    • Proverb Chapter 31 begins with an oracle that King Lemuel (possibly some otherwise unknown non-Israelite king) learned from his mother.
    • She tells him not to give his strength to women (by having too much sex) and not to drink wine, because it will lead him into making unjust decisions and violating his citizens’ rights.
    • She says wine and strong drink are good for people who are dying or are in distress, to ease their pain and help them forget their misery.
    • She ends by urging him to defend the rights of the poor and the needy, and to judge righteously.

    • This next section isn’t from King Lemuel or his mom, apparently. It’s an ode to the ideal, capable wife from another source.
    • Basically, capable wives are really great—they benefit their husbands endlessly, bring in food from far away, and know how to work with wool and flax to make clothing.
    • The capable wife rises up early in the morning and makes sure all the servant-girls are doing chores and that the household is running correctly.
    • She considers and buys a field by herself, and plants a vineyard with money she’s earned.
    • She grows physically strong, sells profitable merchandise, and is constantly industrious.
    • The capable wife gives to the poor and doesn’t have to worry about winter, since everyone in her household is richly clothed thanks to her efforts. Oh, and she’s got some fine outfits, as well.
    • Her husband becomes a revered member of the council of elders, and she teaches kindness and wisdom to her children and others.
    • She’s never idle, never has to fear the future, and always takes care of her household.
    • Her kids and husband all praise her and appreciate how happy and capable she is.
    • A woman who fears God is way preferable to one with mere charm or beauty.
    • If you give her a share of the money she’s earned, she’ll use it in works that earn her praise in the city.

  8. Prophetess Deborah Oreofe David

    This next section is entitled saying of Agur,son of Jakeh,it begins with a confession of ham ignorance,the speaker admit that he doesn’t know anything,does not understand how the world was made,or how the university was structured. He lacks wisdom, he says,but ends by saying to God that God surely knows all of this. He says that everything God days come true,and people shouldn’t falsely attribute statements to the divine. In life,Agur says he only wants to be free from falsehood and lying,and to have just enough to live bring free from both poverty and wealth. He asks God for this gifts and says he won’t be able to live an upright moral life without them. Don’t slanders servants to their masters says Agur. Also,Agur catalogues all the bad guys out there,people who curse their parents, people who think they lack sin but are actually sinful,people who oppress the poor and steal money and goods from them. People who are leeches end up having their own children prey on them. Agur continue to catalogue different set of things: four things that are never satisfied- a barren,Sheol,the dry earth thirsty for water and some sort of raging fire that keeps consuming everything. Out of no where he says that an eye that mocks father and mother will be picked out by crows. Then he goes back to cataloguing stuff. Ahur says three things are too wonderful for him,and four he doesn’t understand. The three things that are too wonderful are an eagle in the sky,a snake crawling on a rock and a ship sailing the sea,the fourth is the way of a man to a woman. He says,again just off handedly that an adulteress commit adultery as simply as someone who eats and wipes his or her mouth and says that they have done no wrong. Three things make the earth tremble and the fourth knocks it out of sites entirely. A slave who becomes king,a fools who is eaten too much,an unloved woman who gets a husband,and a maid who succeeds her mistress as the new heads of household. There are four wise animals even though they are small ants who provide food for themselves despite their size,badgers who own nothing,yet defend themselves by living in the rocks,locust who merchant in rank without having a king and finally,the lizards who is found in the palaces of kings. He false praise four beings for their stately stride and gait: the lion,the roosters,the he- goat and a king who walks in the front of his people. If you are saying foolish things or devising evil cover your mouth quick. Anger creates strife in the same way that pressing on your nose will make it bleed.

  9. Prophetess Deborah Oreofe David

    King Lemuel learned from his mother not to give his strength to women and not to drink wine because it will lead him into making unjust decisions and violating his citizens’ rights. She says wine and strong drink are good for people who are dying or are in distress,to ease their pain and help them forget their misery. She ends by urging him to defend the rights of the poor and the needy,and to judge righteously. Basically, capable wives are really great,they benefit their husbands endlessly,bringing food from far away,and know how to work with wool and flax to make clothing. The capable wife rises up early in morning and make sure all the servants girls are doing chores and that the households is running correctly. She considers and buys a field by herself,and plant a vineyard with money she’s earned,she grows physically strong,sells profitable merchandise and is constantly industrious,the capable wife gives to the poor and doesn’t have to worry about winter,since everyone in her household is richly clothed thanks to her efforts,oh, she’s got some outfits as well. Her husband a revered council of elders and she teaches kindness and wisdom to her children and others. She’s never idle, and never has to fear the future,and always take care of her households. Her kids and husband always praise her and appreciate how happy and capable she is. A woman who fears God is way preferable to one with mere charm or beauty. If you give her a share of the money she’s earned,she will use it in works that earn her praise in the city.

  10. Prophetess Deborah Oreofe David

    Day 31 Proverb 31:1- end. King Lemuel learned from his mother not to give his strength to women and not to drink wine because it will lead him into making unjust decisions and violating his citizens’ rights. She says wine and strong drink are good for people who are dying or are in distress,to ease their pain and help them forget their misery. She ends by urging him to defend the rights of the poor and the needy,and to judge righteously. Basically, capable wives are really great,they benefit their husbands endlessly,bringing food from far away,and know how to work with wool and flax to make clothing. The capable wife rises up early in morning and make sure all the servants girls are doing chores and that the households is running correctly. She considers and buys a field by herself,and plant a vineyard with money she’s earned,she grows physically strong,sells profitable merchandise and is constantly industrious,the capable wife gives to the poor and doesn’t have to worry about winter,since everyone in her household is richly clothed thanks to her efforts,oh, she’s got some outfits as well. Her husband a revered council of elders and she teaches kindness and wisdom to her children and others. She’s never idle, and never has to fear the future,and always take care of her households. Her kids and husband always praise her and appreciate how happy and capable she is. A woman who fears God is way preferable to one with mere charm or beauty. If you give her a share of the money she’s earned,she will use it in works that earn her praise in the city.

  11. Makinde christianah

    Verse 1-6 major on two things that can destroy reputation easily adultery and strong drinks. It can as well detroy destiny and life. So many had been detroyed by it. Lot, Samson, David, etc.
    Verse 10-31 major on virtous Woman lifestyle.
    This is rear in our modern world today. But there women who still feared the Lord. When a woman fear the Lord the fruit of virtousness will come forth easily. That is wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the begining of wisdom.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL

  12. Akinbobola Esther

    This chapter is basically wisdom for women
    1) A women of virtue is Priceless,she is not Lazy but Industrious
    2) Strength and Honor are her Clothing
    3)Her mouth are with Wisdom,she educated herself in the law of God
    4)A virtuous woman is model of righteousness

  13. Adefuwa Adedokunola E

    This “virtuous or an excellent woman” is a woman of high morals who is upright in all her ways.
    This is just saying that her worth cannot be measured in earthly things, such as rare stones (rubies). She does exist, but is very hard to find. Don’t just stand there and let them be punished, because they are unable to defend themselves. Speak up for the poor and needy, especially those who are ruined by their condition of weakness. The king’s duty was to righteously uphold the case of the helpless in both physical (verse 6), and material (verse 9), crises. The monarch thus mediates the compassion of God.

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