Think you’ve learned it *ALL* about the Proverbs 31 Woman?
You’re probably thinking this is another one of “those” articles about the Proverbs 31 Woman, with a long checklist of what you need to be doing, what you aren’t doing, and a reminder of how you don’t measure up to her perfection.
This article is NOT that.
And you may even have been doing a combination of *deep sighing* with a few eyeball rolls, as you clicked over to read this.
I get it.
If you’ve been in Christian circles long enough, then I know you’ve read this scripture frontwards and backwards. It’s likely been used as the measuring rod of womanhood for Christian women. Sometimes, even to shame and disgrace the women who don’t measure up to these standards.
But my guess is, you really don’t know much about the Proverbs 31 Woman.
Even with all you DO KNOW, it’ll pale in comparison to what I’m going to teach you in this article.
(So please keep reading.)
Today, I’m going to give you a few #mindblown moments and bust your bubble, at the same time! At least I hope so. *wink*
Here’s the Proverbs 31 Woman, as you’ve never seen her (and everything you never knew about her)!
Related: Proverbs 31 Bible Study
Roll Up Your Sleeves & Let’s Research!
One of the first things I like to do when studying a passage of scripture or an entire story from the bible is to dig around and do my research.
It’s important to have a historical understanding of the times, customs, and major events happening before, during, and after the story you are reading, in the bible.
To me, it gives the scriptures meaning, depth, and greater understanding. It can also help us avoid not only misquoting, but also incorrectly teaching biblical principles, simply because we did not take the time to study to “show ourselves approved.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Most people simply read about the Proverbs 31 Woman (and most of the bible) without ever doing this. As a result, they miss out on understanding the historical context of scripture. They also miss out on biblical interpretation and a host of other wonderful life application opportunities.
I want to avoid these common misconceptions in this article, as I teach you things you never knew about the Proverbs 31 Woman. I really think you’re going to be surprised, relieved, and have a few #mindblown moments!
So, let’s dig in, shall we?!
By the way. . .
If you are new to bible studies or are looking for ways to spruce up your study library, I have a list of my favorite bible study resources. Some of them I’ve been using for over 20 years! You can shop my list here or take a check out a few of items below.
I invite you to take a look!
The Setting Of The Proverbs 31 Woman
Here’s what we know. . .
The setting of Proverbs 31 is that of a mother sitting down, with her son, to teach him about the qualities of a good, virtuous wife. The mother of King Lemuel, whom many biblical scholars believe to be King Solomon (that means his mother was Bathsheba), was teaching him about the kind of wife he should seek to marry.
How POWERFUL is this?!
Teaching her son.
About how to find a good, Godly wife.
I talk more about this and SO MUCH MORE in my Proverb 31 Woman Bible Study! It comes with, Daily Video Lessons, 3-Week Bible Reading Plan, SOAP Scripture Study Pages, and more! Best of all it’s FREE! Register below or Click here to sign up!
Let’s Start Your Journey,
As A Proverbs 31 Woman NOW!
I could actually stop here and talk all day about the importance of parents teaching their children about the qualities of a good spouse. Imagine just for a moment how that would completely shift our culture’s view on marriage and the importance of carefully considering the spouse you choose to marry.
But did you know this?
Proverbs 31 Is A Poem!
Yes! A Poem.
A twenty-two line poem, which is the culminating chapter of the Book of Proverbs, fully expressing wisdom, as a woman.
Have you noticed, as you read through and study the entire Book of Proverbs that it often uses a woman, to personify wisdom?
Take a look at these scriptures:
- Proverbs 1:20-33
- Proverbs 8:1-36
- Proverbs 9:1-12
They all speak of wisdom, as if she’s a woman, by using “she” and “her” to personify wisdom’s attributes.
Proverbs 31 is the last and final chapter of the book of Proverbs, which fully describes, expresses, and praises wisdom, as a woman.
Amazing isn’t it?
God thinks so much of women that he would personify us, in the Bible, as Wisdom. That’s so much different from what the world and how the media portrays us – as silly, catty, unreliable (I could go on and on).
But God sees us much differently than that. He sees us a wise, gracious, and trustworthy. We are made to rise to this challenge and expectation of Godly Wisdom!
Related: Speak Wisdom, Kindness, & Life!
Now, here’s another thing to note about Proverbs 31, as a poem – it is an Acrostic Poem, which means that each stanza or line starts with a letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. J.A. Motyer describes this style of poetry as “a poetic way of saying that a total coverage of the subject was being offered.” In other words, the writer wanted to be sure they covered all of their bases and included every, single detail. So poetically speaking, they covered it “from A to Z.”
Try this for fun!
Create your own acrostic poem!
Grab your favorite journal (pick one of these) + a fancy TUL pen (love, love, love), and start writing! Make the poem about you, who you are, what you like, your character, dreams, hopes, vision, etc. Be creative and have fun!
The “Target Audience” of Proverbs 31 is MEN!
(The author wasn’t even speaking to women. So there’s that!)
So what does this mean exactly? Why is this so significant?
Well, I dug around, did a little research, and discovered that in the Jewish tradition and custom, the men actually memorize AND sing this passage of scripture to the women in their lives (wife, mother, daughters, sisters, cousins, in-laws, and friends). Some men even sing it to their wives during every Sabbath meal. Others sing it to their wives on their wedding day.
Proverbs 31 is a hymn to a good woman.
Its intent is for the man to celebrate and speak life over the woman in his life. It’s to honor her for who she is to him and their family. (It was never meant to be a checklist for women to measure themselves by.)
It kind of reminds me of Zephaniah 3:17, where it says God will sing over us.
#mindblownDid you know? Proverbs 31 is a hymn to a good wife. It is to be sung over women by her husband, father, and sons. It's not a checklist. #p31 #proverbs31womanClick To Tweet
At this point, I want to make something clear – in order for the man in your life (husband, father, son, brother, etc.) to sing about you as the Proverbs 31 Woman, with truth and fidelity, you definitely should be exhibiting Godly character in your life.
It is truly an honor to have the poem of the Proverbs 31 Woman sung over you. As such, you should desire to live, as a Proverbs 31 Woman, who has an eternal perspective of her life.
Here’s some food for thought. . .
What if your husband or father or son or brother or grandfather memorized and sang Proverbs 31 over you daily, weekly, or monthly? How would that impact your life? How might that inspire the way you live out your life?
If you’re comfortable, share with your husband about your newfound understanding, meaning and the ultimate charge to men about the Proverbs 31 Woman. See how he feels about singing this poem over you and speaking life into you.
Why not start speaking life over your husband and singing about his valor regularly?! Ephesians 5:25-33 is a great scripture, which describes the ultimate role of a husband. Sometimes leading starts with you!
Proverbs 31 Honors & Celebrates Valor
Speaking of valor. . .
The opening verse of the Proverbs 31 Woman is this (Proverbs 31:10):
Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
One of the many things you’ll discover in my Proverbs 31 Woman Bible Study is the word “virtuous” has a more robust, full meaning.
To Study More In-Depth: Register For My *FREE* Proverbs 31 Woman Bible Study TODAY!
“Virtuous” is the Hebrew word “chayil.”
It is a masculine noun that means:
- strength like a tree bearing fruit
- to bring riches
This same Hebrew word is used interchangeably throughout the Old Testament to describe men preparing for war or battle.
Related: The Meaning of Virtuous
So, the phrase “virtuous woman” is actually transliterated as “Woman of Valor.”
Isn’t that interesting?
This one word is so robust that it personifies both the masculine and feminine traits of strength, uprightness, and integrity.
#mindblownVirtuous Woman = Woman of Valor. The word 'Virtuous' so robust that it personifies both the masculine and feminine traits of strength, uprightness, and integrity. #p31 #proverbs31womanClick To Tweet
In our Christian circles, we oftentimes refer to a Godly man, as “Man of Valor.” But I’ve never heard anyone, anywhere refer to a Godly woman as a “Woman of Valor.” We almost always refer to her as a “Virtuous Woman.”
I wonder why this is?
I wonder if we actually took the time to research scripture and dig into the meanings of the words we read in scripture would we come to a more full understanding of God’s Word.
Want to learn how to “transliterate” the Hebrew And Greek words from the bible, so you can get a deeper understanding of what God is saying in His Word? Here are the resources I use for my Bible Word Studies
I invite you to take a look!
You Go, Girl!
You’re going to LOVE this! *pinky promise*
Here’s another interesting thing about the Proverbs 31 Woman and the word virtuous (valor). . .
Proverbs 31 is considered a blessing and not a checklist.
Before we go any further, it’s important that you have a fundamental understanding of how blessings work in the Jewish tradition.
Anywhere in the Old Testament, when the Israelites were being blessed by God or blessing one another, it was a public declaration of favored status with God and/or the person blessing them. It also endowed them with power for prosperity and success.
In other words, a blessing was a public prophetic proclamation about that person’s life, their future success and prosperity, and their birthright of inheritance, as it relates to their covenant relationship with God.
Here are some examples of God blessing the people of Israel:
- Genesis 12:1-9 (God blessing Abraham)
- Genesis 26:1-5 (God blessing Isaac after Abraham’s death)
- Deuteronomy 8:6-10 (God blessing the Israelites)
- Deuteronomy 28:1-14 (God blessing the Israelites)
- Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (God blessing the Israelites)
Here are some examples of the people of Israel blessing one another:
- Genesis 24:59-61 (Rebekah leaving her family to become Isaac’s wife)
- Genesis 27:27-29 (Isaac blessed Jacob, which should’ve been Esau’s blessing)
- Genesis 49:1-27 (Jacob blessed his 12 Sons – Tribes of Israel)
- Numbers 6:22-27 (Aaron blessed the people of Israel)
- Ruth 4:14-15 (Naomi is blessed by the other women after Ruth married Boaz.)
The Proverbs 31 Woman, described in the bible, is a blessing to be proclaimed over the life of women. It was never, ever to be used as a checklist or a measuring rod, to lord over the heads of women and to make them feel inadequate.
As a matter of fact, God doesn’t want us to live in shame, guilt, or comparison to her. He will encourage and equip us for any good works He calls us to do, if Christ is in us!
The intent was to speak prophetically into the lives of women, to give them vision, hope, and a promise of their inheritance, as they work to honor their families and love God with all their hearts, soul, and mind.
As tradition and customs stand, the women in the Jewish community, use Proverbs 31 to bless and cheer one another on! They sing it over one another as a blessing and in celebration of their female family and friends!
The call it “Eshet Chayil.”
They bless and celebrate weddings, pregnancies, birthdays, completion of projects, promotions, degrees, overcoming illness or sickness, nearly any and every accomplishment, by edifying one another, proclaiming “eshet chayil!”
What is “eshet chayil”? It means “Carry on, Warrior!”
If we wanted to modernize this phrase, using everyday slang and colloquialisms, it’s just like us saying ”You Go Girl!”
You mean to tell me I can use the entire scripture about the Proverbs 31 Woman as one big, huge, ginormous shoutout to my homegirls?!
This takes “You Go, Girl!” to a whole new dimension for me!
From now on when my BFF has a major accomplishment or overcomes an obstacle in her life, I’m going to “eshet chayil” her all day and night, painting the town red, as we celebrate with hugs, laughter, tears of joy, and cupcakes!
Join me, shall you?
It’s Not About What You Do, But How You Do It!
Another really important concept of “eshet chayil” is that it isn’t necessarily about what you do, but the spirit, fever, and intent with which you do it.
“Eshet Chayil” isn’t about what you do, but HOW you do it!
(Here’s that character piece coming in, again.)
It’s about the woman’s bravery, strength, diligence, heart, tenacity, and faith behind her actions. Because deeds are one thing, but what’s motivating and churning in your heart about your deeds is another thing.
Why you do what you do is almost more important than what you do.
It’s this concept of being a woman after God’s heart and living your life in honor of that — this is the essence of “eshet chayil.”
Be a woman of valor!
If you are a teacher, be a teacher of valor.
If you are a homeschooling mom, be a homeschooling mom of valor.
If you are a hairstylist, be a hairstylist of valor.
If you are a doctor or nurse, be a doctor or nurse of valor.
If you are an engineer, be an engineer of valor.
If you are a business owner, be a business owner of valor.
Like it says in Proverbs 31:31
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
Let your works speak for themselves!
Related: The Worth Of Your WorK
Use What You Know For God’s Glory!
So many women oftentimes feel defeated by the image of the Proverbs 31 Woman, but what we’ve learned here, is that we’ve misused and misinterpreted this scripture, to the point of the defeat of Christian women everywhere.
That was never God’s intent.
His intent was for the description Proverbs 31 Woman to be used a a blessing to be sung over you and celebrated over you, as a mighty Woman of Valor!
If you have ever found yourself questioning your womanhood and whether or not you measure up, I hope and pray this article set you free and gave you a renewed sense of liberty and joy in the Holy Spirit!
I hope you’ve had your #mindblown as you discovered the truth behind the Proverbs 31 Woman!
Related: A Woman After God’s Heart
One Last Thing. . .
Can I “eshet chayil” you today?
(It would be my honor to do so!)
May you work with valor and excellence, to the honor of your family and the glory of God!
May the fruit of your hands be blessed and overflowing with God’s goodness, from his treasury in heaven.
May God’s face shine brightly upon you, as you work and steward all God’s given you, so his Glory may be revealed in your life and through your life!
May you Dance with the King, as His precious daughter!
If you’ve read this far and are intrigued about studying more about the Proverbs 31 Woman, I’d like to invite you to join my Proverbs 31 Bible Study!
I take a counter-culture, deep-dive approach into the characteristics about this woman and how we can apply them to our lives. It’s not a beat-you-over-the-head-with-an-impossible-standard type of bible study, either.
It’s about liberating you to know the truth of God’s Word, so you can live in the fullness of your calling and purpose.
(I think you can tell that from reading this article.)
It’s truly a deep-dive + life application bible study that will transform, comfort, and inspire you, as you walk and live as a Woman of Valor!
Here’s what I’ve created just for you:
Daily Video Lessons
3-Week Bible Reading Plan
The best part is. . . it’s Completely FREE!
Let’s Start Your Journey,
As A Proverbs 31 Woman NOW!
Now that you’ve had your #mindblown about everything you never knew about the Proverbs 31 Woman, what was your biggest “ah-ha” or #mindblown moment? I’d love to hear your thoughts! You can chime in, by clicking here!