So I attended church today as usual, and the theme of the day was Being a Courageous Woman of God. Of course the whole lesson revolved around Proverbs 31: 10-31. Now I have been involved in bible studies and whole entire networks surrounding these verses, which amount to less than a full chapter of just one book. Here are the verses, along with my translation, so you can know what I am talking about:
She is worth far more than rubies.
(My translation: There are not many women who can be considered noble, so if you find one you need to value her more than any of your greatest treasures or possessions.)
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
(My translation: Her husband believes in everything she does and she makes sure he doesn’t need anything.)
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
(My translation: She strives every day to please her husband, and does nothing that would hurt him.)
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
(My translation: She is selective of materials and uses them to create with enthusiasm.)
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
(My translation: She goes out to get the food, rather than just relying on what’s nearby. )
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
(My translation: She gets up early in the morning and makes breakfast for everyone, including her servants.)
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
(My translation: She inspects a filed before she buys it, and then uses it to generate enough income to start a vineyard.)
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
(My translation: She works fervently, not resting. She is given the tools she needs to complete her tasks.)
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
(My translation: She makes sure what she is doing turns a profit, and she works late into the night.)
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
(My translation: She takes control of what she needs to do her job.)
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
(My translation: She volunteers her time and assists charities, nonprofits.)
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
(My translation: When it rains, she’s got them covered, both literally and figuratively.)
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
(My translation: She makes her own bedding and uses expensive materials for her clothing.)
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
(My translation: She chose a man who is respected and acknowledged within her community.)
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
(My translation: She is an entrepreneur who uses her skills to make money and supply those around her with something they need.)
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
(My translation: She is confident and knows the power she possesses.)
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
(My translation: She is both knowledgeable & experienced, and she shares this with others.)
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
(My translaiton: She takes care of her reponsibilities and she isn’t lazy.)
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
(My translation: When her husband and kids wake up, they are happy to see her and they express their appreciation.)
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
(My translation: Her husband is telling her that she is the best.)
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
(My translation: You only have your looks for so long, and your personality can only take you so far, but a woman who believes in God and serves him will always be beautiful in God’s eyes.)
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
(My translation: She deserves to e praised and appreciated not only at home, but in her community.)
Next week, I’ll talk about my own observations & thoughts regarding these verses and how I translate them. How do you interpret the words in these verses?