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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Proverbs Chapter 31

n exhortation to king Lemuel to take heed of sin, and to do duties. (1-9) The description of a virtuous woman. (10-31)

Verses 1-9: When children are under the mother's eye, she has an opportunity of fashioning their minds aright. Those who are grown up, should often call to mind the good teaching they received when children. The many awful instances of promising characters who have been ruined by vile women, and love of wine, should warn every one to avoid these evils. Wine is to be used for want or medicine. Every creature of God is good, and wine, though abused, has its use. By the same rule, due praise and consolation should be used as cordials to the dejected and tempted, not administered to the confident and self-sufficient. All in authority should be more carefully temperate even than other men; and should be protectors of those who are unable or afraid to plead their own cause. Our blessed Lord did not decline the bitterest dregs of the cup of sorrow put into his hands; but he puts the cup of consolation into the hands of his people, and causes those to rejoice who are in the deepest distress.

Verses 10-31: This is the description of a virtuous woman of those days, but the general outlines equally suit every age and nation. She is very careful to recommend herself to her husband's esteem and affection, to know his mind, and is willing that he rule over her. 1. She can be trusted, and he will leave such a wife to manage for him. He is happy in her. And she makes it her constant business to do him good. 2. She is one that takes pains in her duties, and takes pleasure in them. She is careful to fill up time, that none be lost. She rises early. She applies herself to the business proper for her, to women's business. She does what she does, with all her power, and trifles not. 3. She makes what she does turn to good account by prudent management. Many undo themselves by buying, without considering whether they can afford it. She provides well for her house. She lays up for hereafter. 4. She looks well to the ways of her household, that she may oblige all to do their duty to God and one another, as well as to her. 5. She is intent upon giving as upon getting, and does it freely and cheerfully. 6. She is discreet and obliging; every word she says, shows she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others. The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and shows itself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world. 7. Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts for ever. 8. She has firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments. She shall reflect with comfort when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when young. She shall rejoice in a world to come. She is a great blessing to her relations. If the fruit be good, the tree must have our good word. But she leaves it to her own works to praise her. Every one ought to desire this honour that cometh from God; and according to this standard we all ought to regulate our judgments. This description let all women daily study, who desire to be truly beloved and respected, useful and honourable. This passage is to be applied to individuals, but may it not also be applied to the church of God, which is described as a virtuous spouse? God by his grace has formed from among sinful men a church of true believers, to possess all the excellences here described.


David Burnette's Life Application

A Virtuous Women


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we finish the Book of Proverbs with Chapter 31. In our text today we look at wisdom for a virtuous woman. In making application we see that a virtuous woman is a blessing to her household and her family. Today the world has its idea of success for women but the Bible shows us the how important a virtuous woman is to the family allowing the love of God to flow in a family. How about you? Do you see the pattern of a virtuous woman? Let us learn from our text today to remember that the Lord has created women to be a vital part of the family as she exhibits her love and is praised by her family for being a virtuous woman.   

 

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Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31

 1The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.

 2What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?

 3Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

 4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:

 5Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

 6Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

 7Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

 8Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

 9Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

 10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

 11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

 12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

 13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

 14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

 15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

 16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

 17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

 18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

 19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

 20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

 22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

 23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

 24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

 25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

 26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

 27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

 29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

 31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.