An Overview Of The Old Testament
Part 193 – The Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31:10-31)

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1. Is a virtuous woman someone to be found, desired, and highly valued?
Yes: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).

  • Proverbs 18:22.
  • The word translated “virtuous” in Proverbs 31:10 is found @243 times in the Old Testament. Translated as “army, man of valour, host, forces, etc. Here are the verses the word appears in (look for Strong’s #2428). To see all of the verses this word appears in, click here: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/virtuousstrg2428.pdf
  • Opposed to an ungodly woman (Proverbs 5:3, Proverbs 19:13, Proverbs 21:9, and Proverbs 25:24).

2. Can the husband of a virtuous woman trust her to do right by him?
Yes: “(11) The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. (12) She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:11-12).

  • Marriage is supposed to be a life-long commitment (Mark 10:2-12 and Romans 7:1-6). Excluding CA, GA, HI, IN, LA, and MN; there were 872,000 divorces and annulments in the US in 2010 (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tables.htm).
  • In general, trusting in people is not wise (Jeremiah 17:5). This shows how much greater a marriage is even more than any other carnal relationship (Genesis 2:18; 24).

3. Will a virtuous woman diligently help in providing for the needs of her family?
Day and night, she works to help out: “(13) She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. (14) She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. (15) She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. (17) She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. (18) She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. (19) She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff… (24) She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant” (Proverbs 31:13-19; 24).

  • This is not justifying “career women” (Titus 2:3-5). That being said, godly women are willing to be hard workers in many ways (Ruth 2:2-3 and I Timothy 5:10).
  • She doesn’t love sleep (Proverbs 20:13).

4. Does a virtuous woman have compassion on the poor?
Yes: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20).

  • Psalms 41:1, Psalms 112:9, Proverbs 19:17, Acts 20:35, Galatians 2:10, and Ephesians 4:28.

5. How hard does a virtuous woman work to be sure she and her family are clothed?
Snow won’t even stop her: “(21) She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. (22) She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple” (Proverbs 31:21-22).

  • She doesn’t get lazy and make excuses (cf. Proverbs 20:4).

6. By implication, does a virtuous woman contribute to her husband’s reputation?
It is implied that she does: “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land” (Proverbs 31:23).

  • Proverbs 12:4 and I Timothy 3:10-11.

7. Are strength, honor, and wisdom marks of a virtuous woman?
Yes: “(25) Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. (26) She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:25-26).

  • Not just physical garments, but spiritual thinking as clothing (Romans 13:14 and Ephesians 4:24).
  • A mouth of wisdom (Psalms 37:30, Proverbs 10:13, Proverbs 10:21, Proverbs 10:31, Proverbs 14:3, and Proverbs 15:2).

8. Is a virtuous woman lazy?
No: “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27).

  • She is busy guiding the house (I Timothy 5:14). Not idle (Ecclesiastes 10:18).

9. Is a virtuous woman worthy of praise?
Yes: “(28) Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. (29) Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all… (31) Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:28-29; 31).

  • Acts 16:14-15, Romans 16:1-2, and Romans 16:6.

10. Is it wise for a man just to focus on the outward appearance of a woman?
No: “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

  • Proverbs 6:20-28 and I Peter 3:1-7.