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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Proverbs Chapter 31

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Solomon, Agur, and Lemuel
Date Penned: (970-931 BC)
Overview: Wisdom to Teach People to Live Godly (c 1-31)
Theme: Wisdom for Leaders (c 25-31)
Message: Wise Sayings of Lemuel (v 1-31)

Proverbs 31 Commentary 

(31:1) Devoted to God - Little is known about Lemuel except that he was a king who received wise teachings from his mother. His name means "devoted to God." Some believe that Lemuel and Agur were both from the kingdom of Massa in northern Arabia. 

(31:4-7) Drunkenness - Drunkenness might be understandable among dying people in great pain, but it is inexcusable for national leaders. Alcohol clouds the mind and can lead to injustice and poor decisions. People in leadership who anesthetize themselves with alcohol will eventually compromise their principles. 

(31:10-31) Wise Women -e  The book of Proverbs says a lot about women. How fitting that the book ends with a picture of a woman of strong character, great wisdom, personal strength, many skills, and great compassion. Some people have the mistaken idea that the ideal woman in the Bible is retiring, servile, and entirely domestic. Not so! This woman is an excellent wife and mother. She is also a manufacturer, importer, manager, realtor, farmer, seamstress, upholsterer, and merchant. Her strength and dignity do not come from her amazing achievements, however. They are a result of her reverence for God. We in our society--where physical appearance counts for so much--may also be surprised to realize that this woman's appearance is never mentioned. Her attractiveness comes entirely from her character and actions. The woman described in this chapter has outstanding abilities, and her family's social position is high. She may not be one woman in particular but a composite portrait of ideal womanhood. Do not see her as a model to imitate in every detail; your days are not long enough to do everything she does! See her instead as an inspiration to be all you can be. We can't be just like her, but we can learn from her industry, integrity, and resourcefulness. 

(31:31) The End of Proverbs - The book of Proverbs begins by stating the benefits of fearing the Lord (1:7) and ends with a picture of a woman who fulfills this command. Her qualities are mentioned throughout the book: hard work, fear of God, respect for her spouse, foresight, encouragement, care for others, concern for the poor, and wisdom in handling money. These qualities, when coupled with fear of God, lead to enjoyment, success, honor, and worth. Proverbs is practical for us today because it shows us how to become wise, make good decisions, and live according to God's ideals.

Dave 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 applying, we see that a virtuous woman is a blessing to her household and family. Today, the world has its idea of success for women. Still, the Bible shows us how vital 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.


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.