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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 31

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole BibleCommentary Critical




Verse 1

1. On the title of this, the sixth part of the book, see :-.

prophecy—(See on :-).

Verse 2

2. What, my son?—that is, What shall I say? Repetitions denote earnestness.

son of my womb—as our phrase, "my own son," a term of special affection.

son of my vows—as one dedicated to God; so the word "Lemuel" may mean.

Verse 3

3-9. Succinct but solemn warnings against vices to which kings are peculiarly tempted, as carnal pleasures and oppressive and unrighteous government are used to sustain sensual indulgence.

strength—mental and bodily resources for health and comfort.

thy ways—or course of life.

to that . . . kings—literally, "to the destroying of kings," avoid destructive pleasures (compare Proverbs 5:9; Proverbs 7:22; Proverbs 7:27; Hosea 4:11).

Verse 4

4, 5. Stimulants enfeeble reason, pervert the heart, and do not suit rulers, who need clear and steady minds, and well-governed affections (compare Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 22:29).

pervert . . . afflicted—They give unrighteous decisions against the poor.

Verse 6

6, 7. The proper use of such drinks is to restore tone to feeble bodies and depressed minds (compare Psalms 104:15).

Verse 8

8, 9. Open . . . cause—Plead for those who cannot plead for themselves, as the orphan, stranger, c. (compare Psalms 72:12 Isaiah 1:17).

appointed to destruction—who are otherwise ruined by their oppressors (compare Proverbs 29:14; Proverbs 29:16).

Verse 10

10-31. This exquisite picture of a truly lovely wife is conceived and drawn in accordance with the customs of Eastern nations, but its moral teachings suit all climes. In Hebrew the verses begin with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order (compare Introduction to Poetical Books).

Who . . . woman—The question implies that such are rare, though not entirely wanting (compare Proverbs 18:22; Proverbs 19:14).

virtuous—literally, "of strength," that is, moral courage (compare Proverbs 12:4; Ruth 3:11).

her price, &c.—(compare Proverbs 3:15).

Verse 11

11. heart . . . trust in her—He relies on her prudence and skill.

no need of spoil—does not lack profit or gain, especially, that obtained by the risk of war.

Verse 12

12. do . . . good—contribute good to him.

Verse 13

13, 14. Ancient women of rank thus wrought with their hands; and such, indeed, were the customs of Western women a few centuries since. In the East also, the fabrics were articles of merchandise.

Verse 15

15. She diligently attends to expending as well as gathering wealth;

Verse 16

16. and hence has means to purchase property.

Verse 17

17, 18. To energy she adds a watchfulness in bargains, and a protracted and painful industry. The last clause may figuratively denote that her prosperity (compare :-) is not short lived.

Verse 19

19. No work, however mean, if honest, is disdained.

Verse 20

20. Industry enables her to be charitable.

Verse 21

21. scarlet—or, "purple," by reason of the dyes used, the best fabrics; as a matter of taste also; the color suits cold.

Verse 22

22. coverings of tapestry—or, "coverlets," that is, for beds.

silk—or, "linen" (compare Exodus 26:1; Exodus 27:9)

and purple—that is, the most costly goods.

Verse 23

23. in the gates—(compare :-). His domestic comfort promotes his advancement in public dignity.

Verse 24

24. fine linen—or, "linen shirts," or the material for them.

girdles—were often costly and highly valued ( :-).

delivereth—or, "giveth as a present" or "to sell."

Verse 25

25. Strength and honourStrong and beautiful is her clothing; or, figuratively, for moral character, vigorous and honorable.

shall rejoice . . . come—in confidence of certain maintenance.

Verse 26

26. Her conversation is wise and gentle.

Verse 27

27. (Compare 1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:5). She adds to her example a wise management of those under her control.

Verse 28

28. She is honored by those who best know her.

Verse 29

29. The words are those of her husband, praising her.

virtuously—(Compare :-).

Verse 30

30. Favour—or, "Grace" of personal manner.

beauty—of face, or form (compare Proverbs 11:22). True piety alone commands permanent respect and affection (Proverbs 11:22- :).

Verse 31

31. The result of her labor is her best eulogy. Nothing can add to the simple beauty of this admirable portrait. On the measure of its realization in the daughters of our own day rest untold results, in the domestic, and, therefore, the civil and religious, welfare of the people.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 31". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/proverbs-31.html. 1871-8.
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