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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Proverbs 31



Verse 1

The words, &c. The Hebrew dibrey has no governing noun; so one must be understood thus. "[An unnamed one"s] words [addressed] to king Lemuel: a burden which his mother [repeatedly] taught him".

king Lemuel = to El and for El, a king. Compare Jedidiah = beloved of Jah (2 Samuel 12:25). Solomon was the royal seed in the line of Him Who is King of kings and Lord of lords. The Talmud says (Avoth d"Rab. Nathan, c. 39): "Solomon was called by six names: Solomon, Jedidiah, Koheleth, Son of Jakeh, Agur, and Lemuel".

prophecy = oracle, oracular utterance, or burden.

his mother. Compare the Structure, (p. 864).

Verse 2

my son? Compare the Structure, (p. 864),

Verse 4

wine. Hebrew. yayin. App-27.

strong drink. Hebrew. shekar. App-27.

Verse 6

of heavy hearts = bitter of soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

Verse 7

poverty. Hebrew. rush. See note on Proverbs 6:11,

Verse 8

such as are appointed to destruction. Hebrew = sons of destruction. Genitive of Relation, as in Romans 8:36. App-17(5).

Verse 9

the poor- a poor one. Hebrew. "ani. See note on Proverbs 31:6, Proverbs 31:11.

needy = a needy one. Hebrew. " ebyon. See note on Proverbs 31:6, Proverbs 31:11.

Verse 10

Who can find . . . ? This heading is the Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6. The twenty-two verses which follow, each begin with the twenty-two successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The acrostic cannot be reproduced in English, because the letters of the two alphabets vary in their number, order, and equivalents. This is to emphasize the great lesson King Solomon was to learn. Note the warnings against foreign women (p. 865), which, alas! Solomon failed to heed. This is why the book closes with the eulogy of the model Israelitish matron. See the evidence in App-74.

virtuous. The English use of this word limits it to one kind of excellence. The meaning of the Hebrew is wider: hayil = strong in all moral qualities. Ruth is the only one so called in the O.T. May it not be that we have here Bathsheba"s or Solomon"s (and David"s) commendation of Ruth?

Verse 11

doth . . . trust in = hath confided in. Hebrew. batah. App-69.

no need = no lack.

spoil = gain,

Verse 12

evil = mischief. Hebrew. ra"a", App-44.

Verse 13

willingly with her hands = with her hands" good will.

Verse 15

meat = [live] prey. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species), App-6, for all kinds of food.

Verse 18

candle = lamp.

Verse 20

the poor = a poor one. Hebrew. "ani. See note on "poverty", Proverbs 6:11.

Verse 21

is not = will not.

scarlet = double change of garments.

Verse 23

known. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the result of that knowledge; viz. respect from all at the city gate, which includes high and low, rich and poor, peasants, labourers and judges.

Verse 25

she shall rejoice, &c. = she laugheth at the future.

Verse 26

wisdom. Hebrew. chakmah. See note on Proverbs 1:2.

Verse 28

children = sons.

Verse 30

deceitful = Hebrew. sheker. See note on Proverbs 11:18.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 31:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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