Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, May 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 31

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-31


CHAPTER 31 The Virtuous Woman

“The words of King Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him”; this is the superscription of this chapter. Who is King Lemuel? No king by that name is known. We do not hesitate in saying that it is Solomon. It means “unto God” one who is devoted to the Lord. In all probability Solomon’s mother called her boy by this name, and here is the record therefore of the instruction given by Solomon’s mother. The warning is once more, and that very earnestly (shown by the thrice asked “what?” What shall I say unto you?) against licentiousness, against wine and strong drink. The brief words of the mother’s exhortation end with a request to act righteously as king, to stand up for those who are appointed to destruction, to plead the cause of the poor and needy.

The final portion of the book of Proverbs is a description of the virtuous woman. This section is quite different from the rest of the book, like many Psalms and the Lamentations it is alphabetically arranged. The virtuous woman, who is far more valuable than rubies, is described in her home as a faithful wife, a painstaking mother and the competent mistress of her household. There is no need to allegorize this description and apply it to the Church, as some have done. But this virtuous woman stands out in prominent and bright relief--a relief against the descriptions of “the strange woman,” the adulteress so repeatedly mentioned in Proverbs Proverbs 2:16-22 ; Proverbs 5:1-23 ; Proverbs 22:14 ; Proverbs 23:27 , etc.). One of the proverbs is expanded in this beautiful picture drawn by the Spirit of God: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor from the LORD.” But how few of the modern women reach this ideal! How few among Christian women measure up to it!

Thus ends the book of Proverbs, the book filled with practical instructions, warnings; food for thought and meditation; filled with wholesome counsel, with direction and guidance, the wisdom which is from above.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Proverbs 31". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/proverbs-31.html. 1913-1922.
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