Who can find a virtuous woman?

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.

When you read a verse like this one of the first things that comes to mind is what is meant by virtuous? As any person who studies the word knows one of the keys to proper interruption is where a word had been used before. We will get to that because first you should check out the context that the word is used in,
Proverbs is loaded with wisdom. It was written by Solomon who had asked God for wisdom so he could be a good ruler over Israel. Here at the end built upon the rest of the wisdom imparted in Proverbs we have the virtuous women.

10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
 11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Sometimes the Old English is more difficult to understand so I will show you the NIV translation.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

The reason her husband is confident in her is she has proven herself that she has it all, to use a more modern way of saying it.

 12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
 13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

The word flax is translated linen in other translations and is an acceptable way of translating it. She seeks wool and flax for what purpose? She is making clothing for her family, makes sure they look good when they go out. This was a different time when women were not working outside the house. It is still a good thing if a woman can do it.

 14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
 15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 

She makes sure that the family is fed even if it means getting up before the sun comes up and she makes sure the servants  are taken care of, she makes sure her household is being taken care of?

 16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
 17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She takes care of herself and keeps herself in shape.
 18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

She takes care of things before they need doing.

 19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

Distaff refers to the working of the spindle.
She is a woman not afraid to work.

 20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

She is charitable. If someone is in need she is there to help them.

 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

The word scarlet means doubled garments.

 22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

Silk and purple indicate royalty. She treats her family as if they were royalty.

 23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

To be known in the gate is an oriental custom. It means that her husband is considered wise and fair by all in the city.

 24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
 25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
 26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
 27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

She is not lazy but is industrious.

 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

The word blessed and praiseth come from the root word of worshiped.

29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

She is a woman’s woman.

 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

This is something we could all do well to learn. The true beauty of a woman is not external but what is on the inside. I’ll take a woman who has a pure heart and is endeavoring to walk the word over any beauty queen any day. We have to stop looking at the external and look at the heart. I’ll take a woman whose heart belongs to God anytime. There beauty is permanent the woman who could not care less about god will corrupt no matter how she looks.

 31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

The virtuous woman does not have to tell how good she is she will let the witness of her life do the speaking.

So those are the attributes of the virtuous women. I’d like to see exactly how this word is used in the bible. It is the Hebrew word chayil.

Authorized Version (KJV) Translation Count — Total: 243
AV — army 56, man of valour 37, host 29, forces 14, valiant 13, strength 12, riches 11, wealth 10, power 9, substance 8, might 6, strong 5, misc 33

I am not going to try to look at all 243 uses but let’s look at some of them.

Let’s look at the word virtuous since there is only 3 usages so let’s see what the other 2 say.

Ruth 3:11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou [art] a virtuous woman.

All this tells us is that Ruth is a virtuous woman. So if you study Ruth’s life you will see what a virtuous woman does.

Proverbs 12:4  A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones.

In Proverbs 12 it gives no additional info but it does show us something about those who are not virtuous.
The word is also translated army.

Exodus  14:9  But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses [and] chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.

To give some context here the army of Pharaoh is chasing after Israel before they get to the Red Sea.

 Deuteronomy  11:4   And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and [how] the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day;

Again this refers to men of an army. It also shows what happens to armies that oppose the true living God no matter how powerful they may be.

Here is the first usage of this word in the bible.

Gen 34:29   And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that [was] in the house.

Here the word is translated wealth. It seems to refer to the might of something which would tie it together real well with army. The army always represents strength and power.

Gen 47:6   The land of Egypt [is] before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest [any] men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.

Here the word activity is the translation from chayil .  Notice here the word again refers to men. This word is a masculine noun.

Exd 14:4   And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I [am] the LORD. And they did so.

Here it is the word host. The word host always indicates an army. When it says that the LORD of hosts it means that warfare is coming or God of the armies.

Exd 14:9   But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses [and] chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.

Here we go back to the word army. Again it is indicating strength or might.

So we see a pattern of power and might starting to emerge. So the virtuous woman is a woman of strength. 

A woman of power.

Judges 3:29   And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.

Here it is valor. We consider valor as a mark of courage and strength again. Power would also seem to fit.

Judges 6:12   And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD [is] with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

Mostly to this point it was referring to a group. Here it is an angle talking to Gideon. The angle calls Gideon a mighty man of valor. So it seems to be talking about more than a group think and it does apply to an individual. Mostly to men but God did include women such as Ruth.

Judges 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he [was] the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.

One last one for Valor

1Kings 11:28   And the man Jeroboam [was] a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.

You should go through all these records. These Old Testament records show a lot about God and how he operated with Israel. In any case this valiant man went on to become King but then he forsook God. So this can also be a fluctuating state.

1Sa 14:48  And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.

Again the word host is the one we want to see. Strength and power is again involved.

1Sa 18:17 And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD'S battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

Here Saul the king is telling David he wants him to be valiant.

Definition of VALIANT

1 : possessing or acting with bravery or boldness : courageous <valiant soldiers>
2 : marked by, exhibiting, or carried out with courage or determination : heroic <valiant feats>
So even here the definition is conveying courage and strength.

Again also it is directed at a man so this is not a gender thing. In the bible the culture taught that men were more important than women. It was the culture of the time. I am not saying that God saw it that way because as it says in Acts 10 God is no respecter of persons. God respects conditions. If a woman believes it is the same as a man believing. There are some truly remarkable women in the bible. Consider this while Jesus hung on the cross who was there? It was the women and John. Where were the other 11, behind closed doors hiding. Who was showing that courage? The women. Those women who were going to be there for the lord no matter what happened.

In truth I’m in awe of women who stand on the word of God. Nothing tends to move them they stand!

2Sa 11:16  And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men [were].

Okay this one is interesting because we see Joab setting up Uriah to be killed. David was not being valiant here neither was Joab. Uriah was the valiant one. In fact most people don’t fully understand that what God was upset with David for. Most think it was just because of Bathsheba. That wasn’t the case at all if you read the whole account you find that God was also upset because David had Uriah and a few others killed. That is what got God hot under the collar not only that David stole her but that he also had Urhia murdered.

2Sa 17:10   And he also [that is] valiant, whose heart [is] as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father [is] a mighty man, and [they] which [be] with him [are] valiant men.

So David is a mighty man and those with him are valiant. The first usage of valiant is the same word.

Psalms 60:12   Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that] shall tread down our enemies.

We are all to do valiantly and we will as long as we are with God.

2Sa 22:33   God [is] my strength [and] power: and he maketh my way perfect.

The word strength is the one we are interested in. So that virtue of the virtuous women comes from God. He is our virtue he is our strength.

Psalms 18:32   [It is] God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Here God has girdeth us with strength. The word girdeth means to equip. So God equips us with virtue so there has to be a spiritual quality to it as well.
Look down at verse 39.

39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

God has equipped us with strength unto the battle. Our strength comes from God’s word.

Pro 31:3   Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

Here it is in the same context as the virtuous woman. You should take some time and go over this section in more detail again. The women saying this proverb is talking to her son. She is telling him not to give his virtue unto women, nor to the ways that destroy kings. To understand that just study a bit about Saul, Solomon, and a great many of the kings of Israel and Judah. There are records that will lay out for you just what the wrong path looks like.

Hab 3:19   The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

This is a familiar verse to many. A hind is a kind of mountain deer. It is one of the most sure footed creatures on earth. It places its front feet on a spot and when it knows that place is safe it’s back feet track exactly where the front feet went. The front feet would represent the word of God finding the safe and secure place while we would be the hind feet tracking along the word that the front feet have found. Now God is our strength

Psalms 49:6  They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;

Here it is the word wealth. Never trust in your own strength. You were born without anything you will die without anything if the Lord should tarry. All the strength and wealth you will have here will be meaningless.

Psalms 73:12 Behold, these [are] the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase [in] riches.

Don’t trust in your riches. It would be better to have little and know and love God than to be loaded without God and without hope.

Dan 11:13   For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches

Again it is the word riches. Remember riches represent power. Here again I would suggest take some time and look at this verse in context. It is a prophecy at the time.

Deut. 8:17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of [mine] hand hath gotten me this wealth.
Deut. 8:18  But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for [it is] he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as [it is] this day.

In both verses the word wealth is our concern. Remember all we have is from God whatever wealth, strength, and power we have, God has given it to us. We are the recipients of God’s generosity.

Jo.s 1:14   Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;

This is Joshua speaking the Reubenites, to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh. The word valor is the same as virtuous. Joshua was sending the men of valor to help the rest of the tribes of Israel to get their inheritance.

Now if you want to study this out further get a lexicon concordance I would suggest Youngs analytical over Strong’s but I have never found Young’s online so if you don’t have either here is a link you can go to and type virtuous into the search engine.

They have many resources there for doing word or topical studies.

We can all be virtuous all we have to do is to remember that God is our strength and resource. We need to make god first and foremost in our lives by doing what the word of God tells us we should be doing.
In the Lamsa translation they have it as the word diligent. We all need to be diligent when it comes to God’s word. I would like to close this the same way I opened it only with no commentary.

Proverbs 31: 10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
 11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
 12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
 13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
 14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
 15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
 16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
 17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
 18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
 19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
 20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
 22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
 23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
 24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
 25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
 26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
 27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
 29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
 31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.


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