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Richard Clifford: The poem on the capable or valiant woman is an acrostic poem of twenty-two lines, each line beginning with a successive letter of the alphabet. . .

As with most acrostic poems in the Bible, the unity of the poem comes more from its alphabetic sequence than from its narrative logic. . .

We propose that it is a portrait of an ideal wife (of a great house) and, on a metaphorical level, a portrait of Woman Wisdom and what she accomplishes for those who come to her house as disciples and friends. Woman Wisdom in chaps. 1–9 sought a permanent relationship to her disciples (8:32–36) and invited them into her house (9:1–6, 11). The portrait has two levels, as do the portraits of the two women in chaps. 1–9. A good wife, who is a gift of God, builds her house. She brings prosperity to all within—her husband, children, servants, and even to those outside—to the poor and those who benefit from her husband’s counsel in the gates. If a young man, or, in the context of the entire book, any person, enters into a relationship with Woman Wisdom and becomes her disciple, she will invite that disciple to her house (chap. 9) and make that person “happy” in the fullest sense, bestowing the blessings of children, wealth, renown, and long life.

Lindsay Wilson: While some view her as a depiction of wisdom personified (like Lady Wisdom in chs. 1-9), she is at least a woman who exemplifies wisdom, and puts it into practice.  At the end of the book, then, as a kind of inclusio with chapters 1-9, we return to the theme of embracing wisdom, and the reader is reminded of the benefits that wisdom will bring, and is urged to choose wisdom.

Allen Ross: Traditionally, this poem was recited by husbands and children at the Sabbath table on Friday night (see Y. Levin, “‘The Woman of Valor’ in Jewish Ritual [Prov. 31:10–31],” Beth Mikra 31 [1985/86]: 339–47). Christians, too, have seen it as a paradigm for godly women. . .

The vocabulary and the expressions in general have the ring of an ode to a champion. For example, “woman of valor” (ʾēšet-ḥayil in v.10; “woman of noble character,” NIV) is the same expression one would find in Judges for the “mighty man of valor” (gibbôr heḥayil [Jdg 6:12]; “mighty warrior,” NIV)—the warrior aristocrat; “strength” (ʿôz in v.17 [“vigorously,” NIV]) is elsewhere used for powerful deeds and heroics (e.g., Ex 15:2, 13; 1Sa 2:10); “value” (v.11) in “lacks nothing of value” is actually the word for “plunder” (šālāl, as used in the name “Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz” in Isa 8:1, 3; cf. NIV margin); “food” (v.15) is actually “prey” (ṭerep); “she holds” (šilleḥâ in v.19) is an expression also used in military settings (cf. Jdg 5:26, “reached for,” for Jael’s smiting Sisera); “surpass them all” (v.29) is an expression that signifies victory. . .

There are several reasons why the writer would use these literary features to present his description of wisdom:

(1)  a personification of wisdom allows the writer to make all the lessons concrete and not abstract (we can see them in action in everyday life);

 (2)  it provides a polemic against the literature of the ancient world that saw women as merely decorative—charm and beauty without substance;

(3)  and it depicts the greater heroism as moral and domestic rather than militaristic.

But the personification in this chapter differs from earlier personifications in the book in exactly these practical details that describe the noble woman. There is no reason to doubt that the writer has a historical person in mind when constructing the poem. From the way the poem is written, one must conclude that even if it is symbolic, it is nonetheless real. The noble woman, then, becomes a role model of wisdom for all who read the poem.

Bryan Miller: If we recognize that perhaps Solomon was using this imagery to summarize the whole book of Proverbs and to describe the fictional character of Lady Wisdom, it can help bring some perspective. The principles of wisdom found in this passage are just as relevant for any other person as well. In most of the book of Proverbs, Solomon was writing to his son, the prince, who would be king one day. For that very reason, many of the Proverbs have to do with ruling well, judging justly, and dealing with people. Yet no one would suggest that only princes who will be kings can learn from the lessons of wisdom taught throughout the whole book. Neither here is the intended audience only mothers but also all people who are interested to learn from Lady Wisdom and to heed her advice. Whether you are a man or a woman, married or single, child or adult, wealthy or poor, wisdom is worth getting.

I.  (:10-12) HER VALUE (WORTH)

A.  (:10a) Worth Due to Scarcity = A Rare Breed

An excellent wife, who can find?

Paul Koptak: “Who can find?” communicates that faithful character is valuable because it is rare (cf. Prov. 20:6), and the question may refer to the elusive nature of wisdom itself (1:28; 8:35; Job 28:12–13).

From the start we are given a clue that somehow this poem is a summary of all that has been said about wisdom in Proverbs. The first of the praises describes this woman’s character as a treasure (31:10), her worth measured in precious stones (“rubies”), thus reminding readers of previous descriptions of Wisdom (cf. 3:15; 8:11). Her husband recognizes her worth, for he “lacks nothing of value [šalal, the same word that the violent gang used for “plunder” in 1:13; cf. 16:19].” What some would take by force comes to those who seek what is most important.

Caleb Nelson: We begin, then, by looking at who this woman is. First of all, how should her epithet be translated? The NASB calls her “an excellent wife,” while NIV calls her “a wife of noble character” and other versions range from “capable” to “virtuous” to “worthy” and even “good.” What is this woman? I believe that the best rendering is “valiant,” because this term is used of warriors in other parts of the Bible. .

It takes courage to be a wife! That’s the significance. You want to find someone with the heart of a lion and the guts of a warrior? Then just peek over the fence into the backyard of your next-door neighbor and take a good look at the housewife who’s back there. She has courage.

John MacArthur: Understanding the implications of a bad one – boisterous, quarrelsome, self-centered, wicked, such as Jezebel – and realizing the influence she was bound to have upon his life, his mother encouraged Lemuel to find an excellent wife. The kind of woman she describes is the model, ideal woman. She is priceless. “An excellent wife,” – verse 10 says – “who can find? Her worth is far above jewels.” And she goes on to describe this woman both physically, mentally, morally, spiritually.

B.  (:10b) Worth Intrinsically More than Jewels = Precious

For her worth is far above jewels.

Allen Ross: The introductory rhetorical question establishes the point that the wife of noble character is not easily found; but when she is, she is a treasure. Her description as “a wife of noble character” (ʾēšet-ḥayil) signifies that she possesses all the virtues, honor, and strength to do the things the poem will set forth. It is interesting to notice that this woman, like wisdom, is worth more than rubies (cf. 3:15; 8:11).

John MacArthur: Too often when a selection is made of a woman or a wife, it is made for the wrong reasons: looks, education, personality, likes and dislikes, accomplishments, style; rather than virtue, character, those things that matter. But this woman has a value that is far above jewels. The word actually describes precious stones of any kind. Some versions translate it rubies, some translate it pearls. Jewels is the best; it’s just the generic word for precious stones. The point being, this is a very, very valuable woman, not easy to find. Then in verse 11, she begins to describe this woman.

C.  (:11-12) Worth to Her Husband = Trustworthy

The heart of her husband trusts in her,

And he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good and not evil

All the days of her life.

Tremper Longman: The woman is first described by her husband’s attitude toward her.  He entrusts his heart to her.  The heart stands for one’s core personality and not specifically emotions, as it tends to do in modern idiom (see 3:1).  In any case, it means that the husband is confident to make himself totally vulnerable to her.  He trusts here to follow through and take care of him and the household.

Allen Ross: The noble woman’s husband lacks nothing of value. The term šālāl (“value”; v.11) usually means “plunder”; the point may be that the gain will be as rich and bountiful as the spoils of war.

George Mylne: The heart of the virtuous woman’s husband rejoices not only in his present pleasures but in his agreeable prospects of future happiness and contentment. He knows that his house is managed with such frugality and prudence that he can entertain no apprehensions of poverty. He is under no temptation to injustice, to make up any waste in his substance. For every part of it is managed to the best advantage.

Charles Bridges: Her faithfulness, oneness of heart, and affectionate attention to duty make her husband have full confidence in her.

Lindsay Wilson: Her habitual practice (all the days of her life) is to pay back his trust with what is good, not harmful (v. 12).  Details of this are given in the subsequent verses.

Tremper Longman: Good things and evil things can encompass a wide variety of moral and material blessings, some of which will be unpacked in the verses to come.

John MacArthur: The husband can go to work, he can go away, he can do whatever he needs to do with absolute confidence of her integrity, her wisdom, and her discretion in the use of his assets and in the care of his interests. His comfort is her concern. His burdens are hers to relieve. He is at ease in absence, because he knows that all he has is safe with her because she cares for him, and he knows that. And love means he would never do anything that would cause him sorrow or suffering or pain or distress. He’s not suspicious, he’s not worried, he’s not jealous, because she is absolutely trustworthy. That is a great foundation for a marriage.


A.  (:13-19) Virtues Reflected in Activities in the Home

John MacArthur: Vivian Gornick, you wouldn’t know who she is, but she teaches feminism at the University of Illinois, says, quote: “Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession.” I always thought being a prostitute was an illegitimate profession, but in our day being a housewife is an illegitimate profession.

Frankly, the most cruel and certainly the most damaging sexual harassment – you want to talk about sexual harassment – the most damaging sexual harassment taking place today is the sexual harassment by feminists and their governmental allies against the role of motherhood and the role of the dependent wife. That’s real sexual harassment with devastating results.

But in God’s order, this woman is devoted to the home. She is the ruler of the house. She manages the household. And her devotion is remarkable, really remarkable.

  1. (:13) Resourceful

She looks for wool and flax,

And works with her hands in delight.

Richard Clifford: Colon A, literally, “she seeks wool and flax,” need not mean to shop for suitable material but to oversee its production, that is, growing one’s own flax and shearing one’s own sheep. Colon B, on the other hand, refers to manufacturing linen and wool cloth, which she does with her own hands (v. 19). In colon B, the phrase is, literally, “at the pleasure of her hands,” which attributes to her hands the joy she takes in creating something useful and beautiful.

Charles Bridges: One thing, however, is most remarkable.  The standard of godliness shown here is not that of a religious recluse shut up from active obligations under the pretense of greater consecration to God.  Here are none of those habits of monastic asceticism that are now extolled as the highest point of Christian perfection.  One half at least of the picture of this wife of noble character is taken up with her personal and domestic industry.  What a rebuke this is to self-indulgent inactivity!

George Mylne: The virtuous woman abhors idleness, and loves her duty; and therefore she takes care to provide every necessary material and implement for work, that she may employ her time to the best advantage. It is not enough for a wife to manage the fruits of her husband’s industry with frugality, or to keep her servants at work; the virtuous woman works with her own hands; and it is not a burden, but a pleasure to her to work with her hands.

John MacArthur: “She looks for flax and wool.” Why? Because she has to purchase the bare product, the flax and wool, and then she has to spin it into thread, and then she has to weave it on a loom; and then once it’s woven into fabric, she has to cut it and make the garments with it. Wool? Because of winter time. It was very cold in the winter. Flax or linen? Because of the hot times. Linen was used in the summer and wool was used in the winter.

  1. (:14) Provider

She is like merchant ships;

She brings her food from afar.

Richard Clifford: The far horizon evokes the picture of a merchant’s fleet, bringing food from afar into her larder. It is the only simile in the poem.

John MacArthur: She’s engaged, you see, in good planning, careful management. But it’s not just simplistic; it’s not just bread and water. There are little things that she adds to make it rich and enjoyable, even if she has to go a long way to get it.

  1. (:15) Industrious

She rises also while it is still night,

And gives food to her household,

And portions to her maidens.

Richard Clifford: The verse is the only tricolon in the poem. In v. 14 the wife imported food; she now distributes it to her household. “House” here and in vv. 21 and 27 means household, including servants.

Peter Wallace: We need to recognize that this is speaking of a time when the “household” consisted of dozens, and in some cases, hundreds of people.

  1. (:16) Shrewd / Entrepreneurial

She considers a field and buys it;

From her earnings she plants a vineyard.

George Mylne: The virtuous woman employs her money in useful purchases. She will not, however, buy anything without considering it, that she may judge whether it is worth the money demanded for it but when she has considered, she buys. For she is not of a capricious and inconstant humor, like some whose mind changes more quickly than the wind. What she buys, she improves to advantage. For she has abundance of money the fruit of her labor and godly management, and with it she plants a vineyard in the field which she has bought, that her family may be well supplied with the conveniences of life in time to come.

John MacArthur: It’s wonderful when a woman is enterprising, and if she has the time and the inclination and the talents and abilities to do things in the home that can benefit the family, that is a marvelous thing. Now the sad thing is when a woman decides that she’s going to go have a career at the expense of the family, at the expense of the children, at the expense of the husband and the home.

  1. (:17) Strong

She girds herself with strength,

And makes her arms strong.

Richard Clifford: To do vigorous work requires an apron or other protective clothing. Putting such clothes on signals to all that she is vigorous. In colon B, the force of the piel conjugation of the verb is “declarative” — she shows her strength through her arms.

John MacArthur: She’s not soft, she’s strong. And what has made her strong – and it’s not just talking about her muscles – she’s become strong as the result of her effort [not as the result of going to the gym to work out]. As a result of her strength exerted in the daily tasks, she becomes strong; and that’s why she can do so much.

John Piper: She will be morally strong. Proverbs 23:17 says, “Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.” The woman who continues in the fear of the Lord will have power to resist all the allurements to envy, to desire what she shouldn’t have.  The fear of the Lord will also increase her intellectual strength. The fear of the Lord is the impulse to wisdom, and rouses the mind to search for knowledge as for hidden treasure. And the fear of the Lord will even increase her physical strength. One of the reasons we let our bodies languish and get weak and out of tone is because we are bored and feel no excitement or hope about the future. But the woman who fears the Lord is confident and hopeful and eager to enter the future with God at her side. This kind of hope always gives us pep and vigor and increases the strength of the weakest among us.

  1. (:18) Productive

She senses that her gain is good;

Her lamp does not go out at night.

Richard Clifford: A burning lamp is a metaphor for prosperity (e.g., 13:9; 20:20; 24:20). Job 18:6 applies the metaphor to a household: “The light in his tent grows dark; his lamp fails him.”

John MacArthur: She is spurred on not by self-fulfillment, not by self-indulgence; she is spurred on by the inherent goodness of what she is doing in the lives of everyone she loves. The family is not organized in such a way that everybody has to attend to her, but rather that she is committed to give herself away for the goodness of everyone else. And in order to accomplish all that’s in her heart, her lamp goes not out at night.

  1. (:19) Skilled

She stretches out her hands to the distaff,

And her hands grasp the spindle.

Richard Clifford: The wife weaves linen cloth from flax and wool from the fleece she has cultivated (v. 13). “Distaff” (kîšôr) is the staff for holding the flax, tow, or wool, which, in hand spinning, was drawn out and twisted (spun) into yarn or thread by the “spindle” or round stick (pelek).

Paul Koptak: The midpoint of the poem is set apart by a chiastic structure that repeats Hebrew words for “hands.” . . .   The wordplay creates a contrast between the hands that close on her tools of production but open to share of her rewards with the poor (cf. 19:17; 22:9). She is the mirror reverse of the generation that wants to swallow up the “poor” and “needy” (30:14; cf. 14:31). The focus on hands carries over to 31:31 (lit., “work of her hands”), and the description of clothing extends through 31:21–22 to 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity.”

Charles Bridges: Her personal habits are full of energyManual labor, even menial service, in olden times was the work of women in the highest ranks.  Self-denial is here a main principle.  The woman of noble character goes before her servants in diligence no less than in dignity.  Instead of being idle herself while they are working, she is not ashamed to work the spindle with her fingers (verse 19).

B.  (:20-27) Virtues Reflected in Activities in the Community

  1. (:20) Compassionate

She extends her hand to the poor;

And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

Richard Clifford: The same hands and palms so industriously employed in spinning inside the house are now turned to the poor outside the house. A chiasm in vv. 19–20 links her industriousness and generosity: v. 19, ydyh šlḥh, kpyh (“her hand she puts,” “her fingers”) // v. 20, kph, ydyh šlḥh (“her palms,” “her hands she stretches”).

  1. (:21) Prepared

She is not afraid of the snow for her household,

For all her household are clothed with scarlet.

Richard Clifford: The point is that even snowstorms, relatively rare in the climate, have been foreseen. She has made the garments of her entire household warm enough to withstand extreme cold.

John MacArthur: Now, she would provide wool garments for the snowy day; but not just wool garments. It’s interesting that they’re scarlet. She dyes them deep red, deep red. Why? Well, wool garments deep red in color would retain more heat. We all understand that, that dark garments retain heat and white garments reflect heat. Not just dark black garments, but she makes them beautiful with a deep scarlet burgundy kind of a red.

And those would be very important in the winter. As I said, all you have is a portable pan with coals to heat a room. And you may have worn that wool garment not only out in the day, but certainly in the night sitting in the home, and maybe even to cover you when you slept. Such garments were dignified. They were beautiful. They were well-made. They were functional. But they were red so that they could have some beauty. She cared not just about the basic things, she cared about the enjoyment of her family.

  1. (:22) Classy

She makes coverings for herself;

Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Richard Clifford: Purple dye was expensive, which suggests all the cloth manufactured by the wife was luxury grade. The woman is elegant and her handiwork is beautiful.

George Mylne: Although the virtuous woman is liberal to the poor yet she is not impoverished. Some have been made poor by selfishness and narrowness; millions have been impoverished by pride and profusion but none have been impoverished, and many have been enriched, by charity. The virtuous woman after reaching forth her hands to the poor, has enough remaining to provide proper and elegant furniture for her house, and a dress for herself suitable to her station.

There is no part of the character of a virtuous woman who will please some ladies so much as this part of it, which seems to allow some scope for finery. And it is not to be denied, that ornaments of a decent kind may very lawfully be used by those who can afford them but Isaiah and Zephaniah, Paul and Peter, testify against that vanity of dress which is too much coveted by some of the gender.

The adorning recommended to women by the apostles, does not consist in gold, and pearls, and costly array but in modest apparel, humility, sobriety and good works, and a meek and quiet mind. And Lemuel’s mother says nothing inconsistent with this doctrine. If the virtuous woman has coverings of tapestry for her house, she makes them to herself; if she is clothed with silk (or fine linen, as it may be rendered) and purple, she earns it by her labors and godly management. She does not starve her charity by her finery, nor spend upon her dress that which might support a poor family. She does not reckon herself superior to the duties of a wife, nor exempted by wearing silk and purple, from using her spindle and distaff. From all this it appears, that the inspired writer allows the use of costly array to none but those who can afford it in a full consistency with the duties which they owe to their families, to the poor, and to all men.

John MacArthur: This woman appreciates the beauty that God has given her. She appreciates the fact that her husband rejoices in that beauty and enjoys that beauty. And so she’s very careful, and she makes sure that her clothing is not just linen, but fine linen; and not just any kind of cloth or color, but purple, which was always associated with elegance. This woman knows how to take care of herself in a way that expresses her beauty and her loveliness to her husband.

  1. (:23) Supportive

Her husband is known in the gates,

When he sits among the elders of the land.

Tremper Longman: The implication is that her husband can achieve such a significant status only with the support of his wife.  She takes care of the household while he works in the community.  Her reputation also enhances his.

  1. (:24) Enterprising

She makes linen garments and sells them,

And supplies belts to the tradesmen.

John MacArthur: Verse 24 says more about this amazing enterprise that she’s engaged in as a homemaker. She makes these linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen. The Hebrew word “tradesmen” here is quite interesting. It’s the word kna’ani, and that refers to the Phoenicians who were the sailors of the ancient Middle East. And what she’s doing is making garments, selling them to the sailors who are the traders who take their ships off the coast of Palestine and distribute their goods all over the Mediterranean. So she’s got an export business going. Belts is cloth girdles, like cummerbunds, sashes.

  1. (:25) Confident

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

And she smiles at the future.

Richard Clifford: As in v. 17, the wife’s virtue is expressed by the metaphor of clothing, which is frequent in the Bible; for example, Yahweh girding himself with might. For the second time, strength, a military virtue, is ascribed to a woman, and honor as well. At first glance, colon B does not seem related to colon A. But a closer look shows that her strength enables her to face the future with confidence, as does her “splendor,” which pertains to her attractiveness as in Ps. 8:6: “You have adorned [humankind] with glory and splendor.” She can laugh at the future, like a confident warrior.

Allen Ross: The noble wife is diligent and prudent in her work; her strength and honor come from her solid financial and economic position, as v.25b shows (Toy, 547); so the result is that she is confident in facing the future.

John MacArthur: She is clothed, in verse 25, with spiritual character. She has spiritual strength and dignity. What does that word “dignity” mean? It refers to the fact that she is elevated above common things. She is elevated about trivial things. Her life is not all about what doesn’t matter. She has true class, true virtue. She has godly character. She is spiritually strong and she has elevated herself to the nobler issues. And she has the power of true character, and its expressed in the fact that she smiles at the future. She has no fear. Why? Because she knows her life is right with God, and that secures His blessing in the future.

John Piper: When a woman fears the Lord, she will not be anxious about tomorrow, she will do what God has appointed for her to do and trust him in everything to show her mercy.

  1. (:26) Wise Communicator

She opens her mouth in wisdom,

And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Richard Clifford: Not only does the woman act with vigor and dress beautifully, she also speaks wisely. Her “wisdom” is the art of governing her household. The phrase “instruction of kindness” (unique in the Bible) most probably refers to her instructions to the servants, which she gives with a graciousness that invites their assent.

Paul Koptak: If the husband speaks for justice at the gates, she does the same in the home (cf. 1:8; 6:20; 13:14).

Matthew Henry: The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, but it shows itself in the tongue; if we are kindly affectioned one to another, it will appear by affectionate expression. It is called a law of kindness, because it gives law to others, to all she converses with. Her wisdom and kindness together put a commanding power into all she says; they command respect, they command compliance. How forcible are right words! In her tongue is the law of grace, or mercy (so some read it), understanding it of the word and law of God, which she delights to talk of among her children and servants. She is full of pious religious discourse, and manages it prudently, which shows how full her heart is of another world even when her hands are most busy about this world.

John MacArthur: So she teaches law, God’s law, to her family with grace. With pleasing, kind, gracious speech her tongue is regulated. Behind the teaching of the law is the tempering of mercy, compassion. This is the noble, excellent woman.

  1. (:27) Focused

She looks well to the ways of her household,

And does not eat the bread of idleness.

John MacArthur: She exercises, according to verse 27, careful surveillance over everything. She manages the children, she manages the household. She is not lazy; she’s not eating the product of laziness, but the bread of loving hard work. And then the real satisfaction comes for her, it comes from the people she loves the most. She’s given everything to them.


A.  (:28-29) Praised by Her Husband and Children

Her children rise up and bless her;

Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:

‘Many daughters have done nobly,

But you excel them all.’

John MacArthur: And what does she get back? They rise up and bless her, and they praise her. They reverence her, literally. They honor her. They hold her in high esteem. And even her husband, because she has set aside her own comfort for his, she receives from him the supreme blessing: after all the years of life, he loves her more than he’s ever loved her, because he now understands her character better than he ever understood it.

B.  (:30-31) Praised by Everyone for Her Inner Spirituality and Outward Good Works

  1. (:30)  Praised for Her Inner Spirituality

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,

But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Richard Clifford: In comparison to the house the woman has built and managed, and especially in comparison to her fear of Yahweh, physical beauty is seen as transitory. It is her house that will endure. Indeed, Wolters believes that the poem is consciously shifting attention from the erotic aspect of the woman, which was customarily praised in the culture, to her heroic courage, strength and wisdom.  Proverbs 11:16 suggested that renown and wealth obtained by questionable means are illusory: “A charming woman gets renown, and ruthless men get wealth.” Our verse reveals that the woman’s virtue comes from her revering God. The book begins (1:7) and ends (31:30) with “revering Yahweh.” Metrically, the verse seems to be a tricolon.

Lindsay Wilson: Verse 30 then sets out what is her most salient characteristic, the aspect of who she is that is most praiseworthy.  It is not her hard work, or her economic success, or her charm or beauty that are the grounds for praise, but rather that she fears the Lord, that is to say, she respects God as God.  This is, of course, the essential foundation of the good life in the book as a whole (1:7; 9:10), and helps to make this final poem a reminder of the core teaching of chapters 1-9.

George Mylne: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the most essential part of the virtuous woman’s character. It is this which sanctifies every other part of it, and makes her all glorious within. The pleasant effects of the fear of the Lord spread themselves into every part of her behavior, and cannot but excite the admiration of all beholders.

John Piper: A woman who fears the Lord will not run away from God to satisfy her longings and relieve her anxieties. She will wait for the Lord. She will hope in God. She will stay close to the heart of God and trust in his promises. The prospect of departing into the way of sin will be too fearful to pursue; and the benefits of abiding in the shadow of the Almighty too glorious to forsake.

  1. (:31) Praised for Her Outward Good Works

Give her the product of her hands,

And let her works praise her in the gates.

Richard Clifford: REB nicely catches the spirit of colon B: “Let her achievements bring her honor at the city gates.”

Lindsay Wilson: The final verse calls on all that she has made or done (the fruit of her hand; her works) to join in this public praise (in the gates).  The praise spreads in these ever-widening circles to bear testimony to the way in which her character and life display such a clear example of how to live wisely in the world.

George Mylne: She is entitled to honor; and if no tongue should give it to her, the works of charity and wisdom, which she is constantly practicing, will be a monument to her name. She is praised by all the wise who know her, and she shall have praise of God on the day when the seal shall be set to every character.

Plaut: Let all know about this kind of woman who, in piety, in devotion and with skill and diligence builds her home. Here is the foundation of society as Judaism sees it; for in Hebrew, house and woman are often used synonymously.

Matthew Henry: Thus is shut up this looking-glass for ladies, which they are desired to open and dress themselves by; and, if they do so, their adorning will be found to praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.