"The Words of a King Lemuel,
for Solomon: Prince and King."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Lemuel in the Hebrew tongue means [to El, and for El, the king]. A woman was present in this chapter, and was the words of his mother. The king mentioned here was king Solomon, so "Lemuel" would be his mother pet name for him. In the side column Solomon was called by six different names; Solomon, Jedidiah, Koheleth, Son of Jakea, Agur, and here Lemuel.
Proverbs 31:1 "The words of King Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him."
Like we stated above, these are the words that his mother taught him. So Lemuel was her private name for Solomon.
Proverbs 31:2 "What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? And what, the son of my vows?
She is asking him, what can I say to you, my son that God has given to me.
Proverbs 31:3 "Give not thy strength unto women, Nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings."
The "women" stated here is to foreign women. Solomon did this quite often taking foreign women for his wives. This was not pleasing to God.
Proverbs 31:4 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; Nor for princes strong drink:"
This is not dealing with obtaining completely from strong drink, but only when you are sitting in the seat of judgment. When you are sitting as the king, judging people, don't let the spirits of strong drink cloud your judgment. It also applies to those taking care of the kings business, when you are at work, stay away from the strong drink. Keep a sharp mind.
Proverbs 31:5 "Lest they drink, and forget the law, And pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted."
The purpose of staying away from the strong drink is that don't forget the law that they are to uphold. The law of course is God's Law. The purpose is to give sound judgment to protect those that need protection; to be fair.
Proverbs 31:6 "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, And wine unto those that be of heavy hearts."
So mother's advice to Solomon is to keep a clear head, Remember God's law, and be fair in your judgment. However a little wine is good for the sake of your stomach when under great pressure.
Proverbs 31:7 "Let him drink, and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more."
This means that you regulate what a person is to have, and not allow it to get out of hand.
Proverbs 31:8 "Open thy mouth for the dumb In the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction."
What this is saying is that when someone is unable to represent themselves or speak for themselves personally, than you represent them and their position. Speak in their behalf.
Proverbs 31:9 "Open thy mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy."
This carries the prior verse over, and brings in the poor that cannot afford a representation. Remember from the prior chapter, that a king that judges rightly will have his kingdom for a long time. His mother is reminding him of that fact.
So the next twenty two verses are an acrostic. Each of these verses are in an order by alphabet in the Hebrew language, and can not be reproduced in the English, because the two alphabets vary in number, order, and equivalents. So this is to emphasize the great lesson King Solomon was to learn. Note the warnings against foreign women, and Solomon failed to take heed to them. So we are looking at the wishes of a mother to and for her son to have a good moral wife. However in a spiritual sense, this is the bride that Christ hopes to find waiting for his return. This is of course carried through in the next book to follow, that of "The Song of Solomon".
Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is is far above rubies."
"Virtuous" as given here is "hayil" in the Hebrew text and it means to "be strong in all moral qualities". So from here to the end of the chapter tells us how the model of a good wife and woman will act. This woman become more valuable when she is sincere in work and all parts of her life, and she is the most precious thing that a man can have.
Proverbs 31:11 "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, So that he shall have no need of spoil."
In the heart or mind of a good woman seeks to help her husband and see to his needs. The husband grows to trust the advice and comments that she makes and she doesn't waste what is needed for the family.
Proverbs 31:12 "She will do him good and not evil, All the days of her life."
She takes her duties very seriously, and tends to them in an orderly fashion every day.
Proverbs 31:13 "She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands."
She pays attentions to what is needed in the household, and goes and gets it. In Solomon's day she had to make the clothes herself, on top of her other tasks.
Proverbs 31:14 "She is like the merchants' ships; She bringeth her food from afar."
She looks for the best prices of the things that she buys, it adds to the value of the paycheck.
Proverbs 31:15 "She riseth also while it is yet night, And giveth meat to her household, And a portion to her maidens."
She pays attention so that the needs of the household are met, and that even the employees needs are met.
Proverbs 31:16 "She considereth a field, and buyeth it: With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard."
She not only takes care of her family but wisely takes care of the family excesses and profits to expand their wealth.
Proverbs 31:17 "She girdeth her loins with strength, Abnd strengtheneth her arms."
You gird your loins with strength for only one thing, and that is to face battle or competition, and she is ready for what ever comes down the road.
Proverbs 31:18 "She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: Her candle goeth not out by night."
She makes sure that the profit from what she sells is good, and that the value of what she buy is worth what she has paid for it. She doesn't get shorted at the store.
Proverbs 31:19 "She layeth her hands to the spindle, And her hands hold the distaff."
Thugh the spindle was not invented yet, the word should read rock. In short, she is not afraid to do the work that is necessary.
Proverbs 31:20 "She stretched out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy."
She did not overlook the poor and their needs.
Proverbs 31:21 "She is not afraid of the snow for her household: For all her household are clothed with scarlet."
She made sure the family was well clothed.
Proverbs 31:22 "She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; Her clothing is silk and purple."
Proverbs 31:23 "Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land."
This is saying that her husband has a good reputation in the community. He is a leader amongst the people. She sees to it that his right judgment is fair to all by his judgment. The wife has a way of letting her husband know when something is wrong.
Proverbs 31:24 "She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; And delivereth girdles unto the merchant."
She uses the maidens of the household to make additional clothing to sell in the market place.
Proverbs 31:25 "Strength and honour are her clothing; And she shall rejoice in time to come."
Her strength and honor comes from her ability to know where to get her strength, from God.
Proverbs 31:26 "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And in her tongue is the law of kindness."
Where does all wisdom come? From God. So when she speaks her advise comes from God's Word. She knows how to use her wisdom to show kindness to those that need it.
Proverbs 31:27 "She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness."
She just does not have time to sit around and be idle.
Proverbs 31:28 "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her."
Her entire family know the value of this woman and praise her and respect her for it.
Proverbs 31:29 "Many daughters have done virtuously, But thou excellest them all."
Proverbs 31:30 "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: But a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."
Beauty is deceitful, for looks make no difference at all to this virtuous woman. In her mind she is continually praising and thanking the Lord. She is well blessed by the Lord. Even when she is carrying a child in her womb, she still strives to tend to the needs of her family and household.
Proverbs 31:31 "Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her own works praise her in the gates."
This lady deserves every bit of recognition that she gets, and down withhold the compliments from her. In a spiritual sense, this description of this woman is as the bride of Christ ought to be for her husband Jesus Christ. Constantly in care of the needs of the spiritual family, and tending to the work that is at hand. So this ends the book of Proverbs, and gives us a set of instructions that if we follow will give us knowledge and wisdom to direct our lives. It is up to each of us individually whether we apply these proverbs to our lives, or ignore them, but that makes the difference as to whether our actions and judgments are as a wise person or from a fool.
Plough .~ Seeds .~ Vine .~ Potter .~ Seasons .~ Sonshine .~ Rain .~ Field