Study Guide

Proverbs Chapter 31

Chapter 31

Just Ask Mom

  • This chapter 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.

Betty Crocker Meets Rosie the Riveter 

  • 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.

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