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2018 November 2
Proverbs 31

The Kiss (1860)
Auguste Toulmouche (1829-1890)
Academic Realism Style
Private Collection
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art

     [ Illustration: Today's painting depicts one of the characteristics of a good mother -- a tender relationship with her child. ]


[ I will again be working through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. I will be adding links, resources, images, and the like, upgrading the former work-through which began with the 2013-10-12 posting which can be found, along with the full Genesis to Revelation postings, in the Archive Page. Postings will be at midnight Eastern Time, as I am able. However, no chapters will be skipped, even though a posting may be late. And all postings will be housed in the Archive Page. ]

     Explanation: Proverbs 31 contains comparisons and contrasts between the righteous and the wicked. This chapter is a sub-division within the second main part of Proverbs (25-31). The chapter consists of two parts -- how to be a wise king and how to find a wife worthy of a king. In this chapter King Lemuel records the teaching of his mother. This is one of several passages in Scripture which were spoken by God through women. Notable examples are these: Sarah, Genesis 21:9-13; Deborah, Judges 5; Elizabeth, Luke 1:41-45; and Mary, Luke 1:46-55.
          The subjects of chapter 31 are these:
               The chapter is a prophecy (oracle, or burden) which Lemuel's mother taught to him and which he passed on in written form to others. It consists of two parts: In the first part, Lemuel's mother warns him against women, wine, and injustice; in the second part, she instructs him to take a virtuous woman as his wife, and she describes the characteristics of such a woman (1).
               Her first warning is that Lemuel must not allow himself to be weakened by women. That is, he must not give his "strength" (power, wealth, virtue, ability) to women. This is a general warning. It would apply to any acts or situations which would weaken Lemuel in any way. Applied to whoredom, it would be a warning against the associated moral and physical dangers. Applied to keeping a harem, it might be a reference to the distractions of overindulgence, and perhaps to the temptation to worship the false gods of a pagan wife or concubine, as was the case with Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-12; Nehemiah 13:23-27). Applied to other forms of strength, the overindulgence mentioned would distract a king from affairs of state and would weaken his hold on political power and on the military. In these circumstances, morality can also slip; and physical strength can drain away (2-3).
               Lemuel's mother also warned him that wine and strong drink are dangerous (4).
               One of the greatest of these dangers is that he may forget the law and pervert the judgment of those who are afflicted (5).
               Strong drink is for those who are ready to perish, who have heavy hearts, so that they may drink, and forget their poverty and their misery (6-7).
               But Lemuel must open his mouth for those who cannot speak for themselves, for those who are appointed to destruction -- literally, for those who are the sons of destruction (8).
               He must open his mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy (9).
               Lemuel's mother then calls her son to consider the value of a virtuous woman. Her price is above rubies. The word "virtuous" is the same word used in verse three and translated "strength." As above, it indicates ability in all of its forms -- physical, mental, spiritual, social, business, and so on. This breadth of meaning can be seen quite clearly from the description which Lemuel's mother gives of a virtuous woman. (10).
               The heart of her husband safely trusts in her, so that he has no need of plunder (11).
               She does him good all the days of her life (12).
               She seeks wool and flax and works willingly with her hands (13).
               She gathers food from afar like the merchant ships do (14).
               She arises before dawn and prepares food for her household and for her servants (15).
               She considers a field and buys it. She plants a vineyard (16).
               She clothes her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms (17).
               She perceives that her merchandise is profitable; her candle does not go out at night (18).
               She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff (19).
               She reaches out to the poor and the needy (20).
               She in not afraid of the snow for her household, because they are clothed in scarlet (21).
               She makes coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple (22).
               Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land (23).
               She makes fine linen, and sells it, and delivers girdles to the merchant (24).
               Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come (25).
               She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (26).
               She looks well to the ways of her household; she does not eat the bread of idleness (27).
               Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her (28).
               Many daughters have done excellently, but she surpasses them all (29).
               Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (30).
               Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates (31).

     [ Sermons: Maurice Roberts. Various. ]

Bible Chronologies -- Genesis to Revelation

[Traditional Patriarchal Chronology. Judges Period Chronology 1. Judges Period Chronology 2. Kings of Judah and Israel #1. Kings of Judah and Israel #2].

[Post Exile Chronology 1. Post Exile Chronology 2. Post Exile Chronology 3.]

[Prophets Chronology 1. Prophets Chronology 2. Prophets Chronology 3. Prophets Chronology 4.]

[Intertestamental Period Chronology 1. Intertestamental Period Chronology 2. Intertestamental Period Chronology 3.
Intertestamental Period Chronology 4. Intertestamental Period Chronology 5.]

[New Testament Chronology 1. New Testament Chronology 2. New Testament Chronology 3. New Testament Chronology 4. New Testament Chronology 5.]


PLEASE NOTE: Use the resources on this and other sites thoughtfully, particularly the commentaries and encyclopedias. I have attempted to list conservative, scholarly resources. However, some providers use liberal or liberal-influenced commentaries such as the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (in Bible Hub). Such commentaries are undoubtedly included by the provider for the wealth of useful information and comments which they provide. By consulting several commentaries, it should be fairly easy to sort out the wheat from the chaff. If, however, you would like personal assistance, write to me at AD LIB ARTS EMAIL.

[1] Proverbs 30:1; Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:15.
[2] Isaiah 49:15.
[3] Proverbs 5.
[4] Hosea 4:11-12.
[5] Habakkuk 2:5.
[6] 1 Timothy 5:23.
[7] Ephesians 5:18.
[8] Psalm 79:11.
[9] Psalm 79:11; Leviticus 19:15.
[10] Proverbs 12:4.
[11] Psalm 37:3; Psalm 44:6; Psalm 49:6; Zephaniah 3:2.
[12] 1 Corinthians 7:34.
[13] Titus 2:5.
[14] Proverbs 31:24.
[15] Romans 12:11.
[16] Song of Solomon 8:12.
[17] Luke 12:35.
[18] Psalm 127:2.
[19] Exodus 35:25-26.
[20] Proverbs 19:17; Psalm 41:1.
[21] Exodus 26:31; Exodus 28:8; 2 Samuel 1:24; Jeremiah 4:30.
[22] Psalm 45:13-14; Proverbs 7:16; Ezekiel 16:10-13.
[23] Proverbs 12:4.
[24] Proverbs 31:13, 19.
[25] Job 29:14.
[26] Romans 13:13-14; Proverbs 12:18; 1 Peter 3:1, 4-5, 8-9.
[27] Proverbs 14:1.
[28] 2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:15-17.
[29] Song of Solomon 6:8-9.
[30] Proverbs 6:25; Proverbs 11:22; 1 Peter 3:4-5.
[31] Psalm 128:2; Romans 16:1-4, 6, 12.
     -- From Treasury of Scripture Knowledge & Others ]

          [ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]

          [ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]

          [ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

          [ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). PROVERBS: Proverbs 31. Book of Proverbs. VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]


John Calvin - CCEL | Analytical Chart - BLB


Gospel Harmony - Summary | The Harmony of the Gospels - Augustine | Gospel Harmony Chart - Online Bible

Greek Harmony of the Gospels - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF) | Gospel Harmony in English - Robertson - (Downloadable PDF)


Hebrew and Greek Interlinear Download - Scripture 4 All

Bible Hub Interlinear Hebrew and Greek Bible

Bible Hub Hebrew Interlinear | Scripture 4 All Hebrew Interlinear

Mounce Interlinear | Bible Hub Greek Interlinear | Scripture 4 All Greek Interlinear Bible

Proverbs Detailed Outline

The Proverbs are grouped into two Collections, each having 2 Sections, with various Sub-Sections. (See the Detailed Outline above and below).

1. Collection 1 - Proverbs of Solomon & the Wise (Solomon's Collection)
     (1:1 - 24:34) - 968 - 946 B.C., Israel
     A. Section 1 - Proverbs of Solomon (1:1 - 22:16)
          1). Sub-Section 1 - "The Proverbs of Solomon, Son of David" (1:1 - 9:18)
               a). Purpose: To teach the fear of the LORD, the beginning of wisdom (1:1-7, esp. 7)
               b). Precepts: The seductions of folly verses the attractions of wisdom (1:8 - 9:18)
                    (1). Part 1: (1:8 - 4:27)
                         (a). Folly: Wicked Companions Bring Death (1:8-19)
                         (b). Wisdom: Wisdom Brings Life and reward (1:20 - 4:27)
                    (2). Part 2: (5:1 - 6:19)
                         (a). Folly: Adulterous Women Bring Suffering and Death (5:1-15)
                         (b). Wisdom: Safety from Marital Love + Diligence in Wisdom (5:16 - 6:19)
                    (3). Part 3: (6:20 - 9:18)
                         (a). Folly: Adulterous Women Bring Deceit & Death (6:20 - 7:27)
                         (b). Wisdom: It Brings Favor from the LORD, Kings, & Rulers (8:1 - 9:18)
          2). Sub-Section 2 - "The Proverbs of Solomon" (10:1 - 22:16)
                    Note: This section builds on the previous section by offering a series of contrasts between the wise and the foolish and between wisdom and folly in general.
                    Having offered a strong persuasion in the previous section to follow wisdom, the author now shows what wisdom is in daily life.
                    In the latter sections the proverbs are generally arranged individually, and groupings are less frequent and mainly shorter.
     B. Section 2 - Sayings of the Wise: ["Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise"] - (22:17 - 24:34)
              Note: If Ecclesiastes 12:9 refers to Solomon, this collection may be one of those which he "searched out and arranged." (See also 1 Kings 4:32).
                       The same is true for the last group of proverbs (30:1 - 33:31).
          1). Sub-Section 1 - "The Sayings of the Wise" (22:17 - 24:22)
          2). Sub-Section 2 - "These Also are the Sayings of the Wise" (24:23 - 24:34)
2. Collection 2 - Proverbs of Solomon & the Wise (Hezekiah's Collection)
     (25:1 - 31:31) - 968 - 946 B.C., Israel
     A. Section 1 - Proverbs of Solomon (25:1 - 29:27)
          "These are also proverbs which the men of Hezekiah King of Judah copied out."
               Note: This shows that the Book of Proverbs reached its final form in Hezekiah's time (715-686 B.C.) - about 230 years or more after the death of Solomon (971-931 B.C.).
                         The copyists may have been Isaiah, Micah, Hosea, Eliakim, Joah, Shebna or other inspired men.
                         The proverbs may have been collected from the 3,000 Proverbs mentioned in 1 Kings 4:32 and / or official records.
                         The new collection may have been compiled about 713 B.C., around the time when Hezekiah invited Israelites from the other tribes
                            to partake of the Passover and to be instructed in the law (2 Chronicles 30).
     B. Section 2 - Sayings of the Wise (30:1 - 31:31)
          1). Sub-Section 1 - "The Sayings of Agur, Son of Jakeh" (30:1 - 30:33)
          2). Sub-Section 2 - "The Sayings of King Lemuel - an oracle his mother taught him" (31:1 - 31:31)
               Note: Some consider Proverbs 31:10-31 (The Excellent Wife) to be a separate section perhaps by someone other than Lemuel.
                         It is an acrostic poem and so is different from the previous material. However, it is different only in form, not in content.
                         It fits with Lemuel's previous material which warns against the wrong kind of women, strong drink, and injustice.
                         It gives a positive picture of a worthy woman who would make a good wife.
                         Also notice that Chapter 31 forms a fitting end to the Book of Proverbs. Solomon began the book with an exhortation to his son (Proverbs 1:8).
                         The book then devotes 30 chapters of instruction in how to become the right kind of man.
                         Chapter 31 closes with instruction in what kind of woman is suitable for a man who is thoroughly trained in wisdom.

Proverbs 31

Map 1: Bible Nations | Map 2: Empire of David and Solomon Map 3: Kingdoms of Judah and Israel | Post Exile Chronology.

1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy["burden"] that his mother taught him.

2 What, my son?
and what, the son of my womb?
and what, the son of my vows?
3 Give not thy strength unto women,
nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
4 It is not for kings,
O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine;
nor for princes strong drink:
5 Lest they drink,
and forget the law,
and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted [sons of misery].
6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish,
and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
7 Let him drink,
and forget his poverty,
and remember his misery no more.
8 Open thy mouth
for the dumb
in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
9 Open thy mouth,
judge righteously,
and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

10 Who can find a virtuous woman?
for her price is far above rubies.
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.
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.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor;
yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
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.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it;
and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
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.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household,
and eateth not the bread of idleness.
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.
30 Favour is deceitful,
and beauty is vain:
but a woman that feareth the LORD,
she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands;
and let her own works praise her in the gates.

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