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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 31

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verse 1



Proverbs 31:1-9


Verse 1 introduces the words of king Lemuel which his mother taught him. Just who was King Lemuel is not known and is not of great importance. The name Lemuel means dedicated unto God and the important thing is to recognize that these words are divinely inspired and profitable for our learning.

Verse 2

A Godly Mother’s Concern

Verse 2 emphasizes the special regard of a godly mother for the son of her womb for whose welfare she had made vows, Isaiah 49:15.

Verse 3

Abstention From Sensual Indulgence

Verse 3 urges the king to be chaste and abstain from the dissolute life common among Eastern kings, Proverbs 5:8-9.

Verses 4-5

Warnings Against Strong Drink

Verses 4-5 warn against strong drink and drunkenness emphasizing that such dulls awareness of divine law and perverts judgment, Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:20; Proverbs 23:29-31; Ecclesiastes 10:17; Isaiah 5:22; Hosea 4:11.

Verses 6-7

Permissible Use of Wine

Verses 6-7 cite certain circumstances when use of wine is permissible. Such is not intended to authorize drunkenness, Proverbs 23:20; Proverbs 23:29­31; Isaiah 28:1; Habakkuk 2:15; Romans 13:13;1 Corinthians 6:1.

Verses 8-9

Justice for the Poor and Needy

Verses 8-9 urge the king to personally intervene to insure fair and just treatment of the poor and needy who often had no one to plead their cause, Proverbs 24:11; Leviticus 19:15; Job 29:12; Job 29:15-16; Deuteronomy 1:16; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 2:15-16.

Verses 10-31



Proverbs 31:10-31



(NOTE: This song was originally written as an acrostic with each verse beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It provides a refreshing contrast to the unfaithful women portrayed in the early chapters of Proverbs.)

Value of the Virtuous Woman

Verse 10 declares the value of the virtuous woman, the woman possessed of the virtues described in the following verses, to be far above any amount of material wealth.

A Trustworthy Wife

Verse 11 commends her trustworthiness and ability to manage which assure her husband he need not fear waste of assets, Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 18:22; Proverbs 19:14.

Enduring Faithfulness

Verse 12 praises the wife whose dedication to her husband assure him that she will be a faithful helpmeet throughout life, in good times and bad, Exodus 1:20; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1-7.

An Industrious Wife

Verse 13 begins details of the many activities which filled the time of the worthy wife. First mentioned was the continuing task of buying materials and doing work of spinning, weaving, and sewing to fashion such into clothing for the family, Proverbs 13:11; Ruth 2:17.

The Thrifty Wife

Verse 14 emphasizes her thrift in shopping for food where the best bargains are available, Ezekiel 27:25.

The Sacrificing Wife and Mother

Verse 15 emphasizes her readiness to rise before dawn to prepare food and appoint tasks for her household, Romans 12:11.

A Farsighted Wife

Verse 16 reveals that in addition to home duties the worthy woman is alert and takes advantage of opportunities to increase the family assets, Romans 12:11.

A Careful Woman

Verse 17 emphasizes the good judgment of the worthy woman. She takes care to dress appropriately and exercise sufficiently to maintain her health and strength, Exodus 15:26.

A Shrewd and Diligent Worker

Verse 18 reveals that this woman of long ago was a willing worker who took pride in what she did and worked long into the night to produce quality items, Proverbs 19:14; Proverbs 14:1.

Verse 19 indicates that this extra hour work involved spindle and distaff, items related to spinning and weaving. Such devices are not current now but the diligent wife and mother still has much to do for her family in the night hours, Proverbs 18:22.

Considerate of Others

Verse 20 reveals that the honored woman. though busy with many family duties, is not too busy to consider and aid the poor and needy, Hebrews 13:16; Ephesians 4:28; Acts 9:39.

Concern For Family Needs

Verse 21 emphasizes the particular concern of the virtuous woman for the cold weather needs of her family. The scarlet clothing mentioned is thought to be double thickness material providing additional warmth, Proverbs 19:14.

Concern For Personal Appearance

Verse 22 shows this woman’s regard for her personal appearance in the things she made for herself; coverings of tapestry for her bed and clothing for herself. Her husband didn’t come home to a slouch.

The Virtuous Woman’s Husband

Verse 23 provides a glimpse of this woman’s husband. He is an honored and respected citizen who sits at the gate with the elders, a group responsible for legal questions arising in the city, Proverbs 12:4; Ruth 4:1-2; Ruth 4:11.

Additional Productive Labor

Verse 24 reveals that this busy woman also makes clothes which she sells to merchants, generating additional income for the family, Proverbs 14:1.

A Confidant Woman

Verse 25 emphasizes the strength and confidence this woman derives from her worthy life, Proverbs 11:16.

A Woman Who Speaks Kindly

Verse 26 declares that, she manifests wisdom and kindness when she opens her mouth. She controls her tongue and refrains from gossip and idle talk, Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 21:23; Job 4:3-4; Isaiah 50:4.

A Woman Who Cares For Her Family

Verse 27 emphasizes that this woman pays close attention to the needs of her own household, busying herself with their needs, not idleness, 1 Timothy 5:14.

A Woman Appreciated

Verse 28 reveals the appreciation and praise expressed by her children and husband, Proverbs 12:4.

A Woman Worthy of Praise

Verse 29 appraises the excellence of a woman of true virtue as excelling all others, Proverbs 11:16.

The Secret of Her Excellence

Verse 30 reveals that the foundation of her noble character is her fear (submissive reverence) of the LORD. Such a woman shall be praised, Isaiah 28:1.

The Consequence of Virtue

Verse 31 declares that the righteous deeds of the virtuous woman shall praise her, Philippians 4:8.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 31". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/proverbs-31.html. 1985.
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