Lectio Divina — Proverbs 31:10–31

Tuesday 23 February 2016, 12:16

10 [a] An excellent wife who can find?
 She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
 and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
 all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
 and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
 she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
 and provides food for her household
 and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
 with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17 She dresses herself[b] with strength
 and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
 Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
 and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
 and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
 for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[c]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
 her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
 she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
 and she laughs at the time to come.

26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
 and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
 and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
 her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
 but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
 but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
 and let her works praise her in the gates.

Footnotes:

a. Proverbs 31:10 Verses 10–31 are an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet

b. Proverbs 31:17 Hebrew She girds her loins

Girding Your Loins (v.17)

c. Proverbs 31:21 Or in double thickness

Woven flax

Following the reading, meditate on what you have heard. What stands out?

She is a woman as astute and skilled in her business as she is kind, caring and loving in her home. There is a strong connection between her reputation and her husbands standing. She is not immune from the fear of risk taking, but sees the situation, sees the fruit placed in her hands, and decides to invest it into the soil [Jn 12:24: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of whear falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.]

If a word or phrase from the passage seems highlighted to you, write it down

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
 and he will have no lack of gain.

This is the foundation. He trusts in her. He will have no lack of gain (because of her trustworthiness, and even with her mistakes).